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NetElixir: Holiday e-commerce sales to rise 7%; busiest days will be …

Online holiday sales are expected to increase 7% year-over-year.

Total online sales are likely to exceed 20% of total retail sales this holiday season.

That’s one of the insights in a report from digital marketing agency NetElixir, which forecasts that aggregate e-commerce sales will increase 7% year-over-year in the November to December holiday shopping period.  The company also advises that shipping cut-off dates and product availability will be the key limiting factors this year.

According to NetElixir, the following days during the holiday shopping season are forecast to experience the highest year-over-year increase in online sales volume (projected to exceed 20% year-over-year on each day): November 20, November 21, November 24 (Thanksgiving), November 25, November 28, December 4, December 5, December 11, December 12, and December 18 to 22.

NetElxir’s 2022 Holiday E-Commerce Sales Calendar also contains a week-by-week breakdown of expected online shopping activity.

Key insights are below:

  • Week of November 13: Holiday deals will start even earlier this year, as liquidation sales set the scene in the months leading up to the holiday season.
  • Week of November 20: Deep discounting will not be limited to blockbuster days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Instead, expect week-long promotions starting the Monday before Thanksgiving. Retailers should look to get creative with category-level promotions and brand storytelling in order to entice customers to their products.
  • Week of November 27 and December 4: NetElixir anticipates some large retailers to test creative promotional strategies during these weeks, especially within their “performance max” campaigns. Mid-size and smaller businesses will need to be nimble and ready with their game plans to successfully compete.
  • Week of December 11: BNPL (buy-now-pay-later) models have been a prime driver of online growth and NetElixir expects the trend to continue, especially as the holidays draw closer. Make any updates in terms of shipping and payment options clear to online shoppers as inventory issues are expected to linger.
  • Week of December 18: The growing popularity of BOPIS has led to a continued increase in the percentage of last-minute, pre-Christmas online sales, especially on mobile. Expect online shopping volume to spike again this week throughout the 22nd.
  • Week of December 25: Post-Christmas sales promotions will influence the "me-buy" week, which will see more consumers shopping for themselves.

"I am more optimistic than other forecasters regarding the upcoming holidays," says Udayan Bose, founder and CEO at NetElixir. "My forecast comes from aggregating recent online sales trends, an analysis of key macro expectations guiding the e-commerce landscape, and a hunch about consumer behavior gleaned from decades in the business. This year will not be without its own set of challenges, but I strongly believe we will have another unique and fulfilling year. Now is the time for retailers to plan their pivots and get a headstart on the holiday rush. We're here to help guide those strategies in any way we can."

NetElixir leveraged its proprietary customer analytics technology, LXRInsights, to track and analyze real-time data of approximately 75 retail customers, ranging from small-to-mid-sized businesses to enterprises. The team then utilized a proprietary forecasting model to convert the data into predictions.

Data collection spanned seven e-commerce categories (including apparel, beauty, home furnishings, consumer electronics, and more) that track mobile and desktop data, broken down by state, on website sessions, website orders, AOV, website revenue, first purchase latency, and repeat purchase latency.

Current forecasts are subject to change and assume that there will not be an additional Amazon Prime Day or other one day sales event by another large retailer.

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