Adobe Analytics Predicts Online Holiday Shopping Surge - How Email Marketers Can Cope

Online sales will top $189 billion this holiday season, reflecting 33% growth YoY, Adobe Analytics predicts.  

Revenue could even hit $200 billion, or 47% more, if consumers receive stimulus checks and more stores shut down.  

And sales will be spread out — in effect, Cyber Week will become Cyber Month, Adobe says. 

It all sounds good. But this is the most volatile year in the eight-year history of this report, Adobe warns. Among the complications:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic 
  • State-by-state store shutdowns and re-openings
  • The election 
  • The unemployment rate
  • Economic stimulus checks or the lack thereof

What’s more, return rates could be driven up due to postal delays caused by to an overwhelmed system. 



Still, signs point to strong digital sales, especially in the Northeast. Overall online sales will hit more than $2 billion per day in the November 1-23 time frame, and $3 million per day November 22-December. 

Black Friday sales will total $10 billion, a 39% hike over last year, and Cyber Monday will bring in $12.7 billion for a 35% increase.

Growth is predicted to slow 11% on the day after the election. The entire week will contribute $16.3 in online sales.  

Many shoppers will be new to digital. Of all consumers, 31% rarely shopped online prior to April of this year, and 9% were totally new to online buying. 

Brands that lack strong email marketing programs -- both promotional and transactional -- will lose out in this mad rush. ·    

Predictably, 50% of all orders placed in the December 21-23 time frame will be at stores that offer buy online/pick up in-store (BOPIS) including curbside pickup. 

At the same time, 42% of shopping will be done via smartphone, pointing to dollar growth of 55%, or $28.1 billion. 

For this research, Adobe analyzed over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites. It also examined 100 million SKUs from 80 of the 100 largest U.S. retailers. 

Want to get ready for this surge? Here are some email marketing tips from a recent blog post by Will Boyd, senior email delivery consultant at Twilio SendGrid:

  • Email communications should look different this year — For one thing, people face challenges with their jobs and finances. Remember this when determining your offers and tone. 
  • Understand what you can and can’t control — For instance, journey-driven email series are more effective — and more predictable — than batch-and-blast offers.
  • Warm up your volume and be early to the holiday party — Increase your volume well before Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Delivery problems could ensure if mailbox providers see sudden spikes.  
  • Create your calendar and and add plenty of breaks — Take a day or two off each week to rest your reputation.  
  • Forget naughty vs. nice…make a list of nice & nicest!You could face heavy filtering of your messages to spam. Pick the people who are most engaged and use them as a segment — and give them some special perks.


Next story loading loading..