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Holiday Shopping: Opportunities in numbers and key trends 2021

Experts expect a huge increase in sales during the Holiday Season, especially during Cyber Week. Learn more!

The post-pandemic Holiday Shopping season is predicted to hit new levels in 2021 based on learnings from last year’s huge boost in sales during this season.
The key timeframe for Holiday Shopping is usually counted from Black Friday until Christmas, with sales peaking on Black Friday, Monday Cyber Day, and the final week before Christmas. In 2020, Black Friday was the largest digital shopping day of so-called Cyber Week, with $62.2 billion in global sales, and $12.8 billion in the US alone. Last year also broke records in digital sales, reaching $1.1 trillion in global sales, up 50% from 2019. And from that number a total of 270$ billion were from Cyber Week alone. One thing’s for certain: retailers can make or break their annual quota in just a few days during the holiday season. Although Holiday Shopping might not be on consumer’s minds during summer months, brands and retailers are already preparing to seize their opportunities to benefit from the huge surges in demand, without collapsing under the sheer volume of orders and purchases. But what exactly defines the Holiday Shopping season, and what does that data say about how and why it’s so successful? We’ve taken a closer look at the numbers behind Holiday Shopping and particularly Cyber Week and key predictions for 2021’s peak shopping season of the year in this article.

Holiday Shopping is expected to start earlier in 2021

Holiday season is commonly thought to begin on Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, which this year will be 26 November 2021. However, over the past years the holiday season has been starting as early as on Singles Day, an increasingly important shopping event on November 11th. Especially in the after-effect of the pandemic, there are good reasons for this. Demand has become “pent up” during lockdowns and global unease during the pandemic, creating an opportunity for brands and retailers to connect with both loyal and new customers on the lookout for shopping experiences as early as the summer. Furthermore, spreading out holiday gift shopping might be a consideration for many buyers watching their wallets after a financially stressful period. And the best thing about this earlier demand is that it’s been shown not to diminish Cyber Week sales.

Holiday Shopping and Cyber week thrive on digital and mobile

One thing 2020’s Holiday Shopping Season really showed was the massive boost of digital and mobile sales: 10 years of growth in digital sales channels were actually reached in the first three months of the pandemic. This trend is so solid that in the week leading up to Christmas, digital sales grew 58%, even though retailers had announced shipping cutoff dates already. Overall, there has been a huge shift to smartphones. According to Adobe, over half of digital Christmas revenue in 2020 came from smartphones. Specifically, mobile comprised 71% of traffic and 55% of orders, while desktop saw 26% of traffic and 41% of orders year-on-year globally during Cyber Week. This shows that mobile commerce now dominates the global Holiday Shopping Season, a key takeaway for retailers going into 2021’s season.

Discovery Commerce: shopping inspiration has moved to social channels

Discovery commerce has brought shopping inspiration to social platforms where consumers are spending time anyway – which means that brands need to provide shoppers with new and more connected ways of discovering, desiring and then buying new products. This movement plays perfectly in the holiday season, when buyers are looking for gifts for their loved ones they might not usually buy for themselves. According to AdWeek, half of shoppers weren’t sure what to buy as gifts, with 45% of shoppers saying that gifts they discovered online were bought as presents for someone. The idea of online product discovery isn’t new, but there’s a new trend here that is emerging: the important involvement of social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Almost 8 out of 10 consumers asked in a survey used a Facebook-owned app or service to find gifts last holiday season. And people are buying on these apps, too. Grand View Research has estimated that social commerce led to 11% of global retail e-commerce revenue in 2020, and created $474 billion in sales. These are key facts to consider when planning your sales strategy for 2021: brands need to be present on these channels, and inspire consumers to find their products.

Your Holiday Shopping and Cyber Week success is defined by one thing

Shipping and logistics behind your Cyber Week strategy is what will make or break being able to benefit from this whopping demand on the marketplaces. After price and convenience of buying, shipping is what defines winners and losers of the holiday season. If you’re not sure whether your current systems can cope with peak season, read on.

Unlock your Holiday Shopping Success

If you’re in digital retail, you know that it’s a fast-paced market. Technology disrupts buying habits with new innovations constantly, and shoppers are highly informed and have high expectations when it comes to service and delivery. COVID has further enhanced the unpredictability of the market, making it even more important for brands to be agile when it comes to bringing their goods online. We at Tradebyte specialize in making platform players successful, and are here to support you as you prepare to win Holiday Shopping and of course Cyber Week 2021. Read on to find out our Practical Tips to Unlock Holiday Shopping Success, or prepare yourself optimally for the Holiday Shopping Season with our Cyber Week Expert webinars.

For getting the ideal preparation for Cyber Week, you might want to check our landing page, containing all information you need to succeed during the Holiday Shopping Season.



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