Week of December 12th: Holiday E-Commerce Calendar Breakdown

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… strong e-commerce sales!

The holiday season is wrapping up. While many shoppers got an early start to their shopping list this year, there are still plenty more who need to complete theirs. Keep a careful eye on how your customers’ online shopping behavior changes and stay agile to better anticipate their needs.

NetElixir’s Latest Holiday Forecast

Although we saw a lackluster Cyber 5 in terms of sales, overall sales between November and December so far have continued to prosper. Online orders increased 3.6% YoY between November 1st and the beginning of December, while online revenue has increased 3.8% YoY. Within this same time period, online sales have increased nearly 30% compared to 2019’s numbers. The pandemic has greatly the popularity of e-commerce — and it is a trend that is here to stay.

We estimate that 55%+ of all holiday shoppers have completed their holiday shopping — leaving about 45% of shoppers still in need of gifts. Shipping constraints, however, will continue to impact holiday shoppers and stores. Retailers with physical stores and marketplaces, especially Amazon, will benefit from these shipping constraints. As such, one out of approximately 5.5 American holiday shoppers will buy either from brick-and-mortar stores or Amazon between December 13th and Christmas Day. 

December 12 to 18, 2021 Online Sales Summary

holiday e-commerce calendar forecast for week of December 12

Excerpt of NetElixir’s Holiday E-Commerce Calendar for the week of December 12th to 18th, 2021. Key: Green is moderate YoY growth (<5%); Orange is high YoY growth (5-12%); Red is very high YoY growth (>12%)

Although a considerable portion of shoppers will rely on in-store and Amazon to finish their holiday shopping, plenty of other consumers are still turning to online shopping.

This week marks the cutoff for ground shipping — around December 14th. However, many brands have already announced earlier cutoff dates and cannot guarantee any holiday arrivals. The majority of e-commerce businesses will have 24-72 hours of e-commerce sales before they are forced to impose shipping cut-offs. Therefore, we expect very high growth, at an increase of  12% YoY for the beginning of this week, especially on Green Monday.

Green Monday is the second Monday in December and one of the busiest retail shopping days in the US. It’s the day when shoppers realize they only have around 10 shipping days left before Christmas Day. That sense of urgency translates into online sales, as consumers rush to complete their holiday shopping lists.

After December 14th, we expect to see a surge in BOPIS orders. As curbside pickup was a prominent feature of Black Friday sales, expect the trend to continue to grow the closer we get to the end of the holiday season. If your brand has BOPIS or curbside options, be sure to include that feature in your promotional copy. 

We expect many digital marketers to start decreasing their advertising budgets this week. Inventory issues are likely to persist and come to a head this week, so ensure your landing pages and ads contain the most up-to-date information regarding your products.

Make It Easy For Your Last-Minute Shoppers

Make holiday shopping easy for your last-minute customers! Consider creating a gift guide solely for last-minute shoppers with a few gift options for each person on their list so they can easily check everyone off. We expect customers may scramble to place their orders just before the last shipping date. Be sure to remind your customers about your brand’s last shipping date and share the latest deals they can snag just in time.

Mobile accounted for over 62% of online sales during Cyber 5 weekend — and over 75% of orders for the fashion and beauty industries! As such, ensure your mobile store is fully optimized and able to support a majority of your shoppers. We surmise that many of these orders may even happen while your customers are at your brick-and-mortar store. Social shopping will also play a critical role in driving mobile orders, so use your paid and organic social presence to promote items you have left in stock and share reviews to drive up last-minute orders.

“As our lives become increasingly digital, new business models will continue to emerge and new players will come and go. It is fascinating to take a step back and look at the past 10 years — the strategic moves made by various online giants and their impact on our lives today. Staying relevant in this complex and fast-evolving landscape is not easy,” surmises our Founder and CEO, Udayan Bose.

Staying relevant in this digital age means meeting your customers where and how they shop. Make it easy for your customers by understanding their needs and expectations and meeting them where they are, not where you think they should be.

Further Insights

Say no to average this holiday season. Learn to identify, engage, and win high-value shoppers with NetElixir’s customer intelligence platform, LXRInsights. We’re leveraging our real-time customer insights to stay up to date with your consumers’ rapid changes in online shopping behavior. 

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