Holiday Performance, Campaign Strategies Rely On Supply

This year’s holiday shopping season will look different. Marketers will rely more heavily on performance marketing as supply and demand plays a key role in 2021 campaign strategies.  

U.S. holiday retail sales in 2021 could increase 2.7% to $1.093 trillion, with ecommerce accounting for 18.9% of all holiday retail sales, eMarketer predicted earlier this year. 

Digital marketing agency NetElixir on Wednesday released its 2021 holiday ecommerce sales forecast and strategy.

NetElixir estimates that November and December will see between 6% to 7% year-over-year (YoY) increase, with total online sales likely to exceed 20% of retail sales.

Deloitte forecasts released Tuesday estimate higher ecommerce sales of between 11% and 15%, contributing between $210 billion and $218 billion to the trillions in sales for the period between November 2021 and January 2022.



Udayan Bose, founder and CEO at NetElixir, believes that with the Delta variant and some people holding back from getting the vaccine, the U.S. could see higher ecommerce sales with consumers staying out of stores this holiday season.

Inventory issues are likely, promoting buy online-and-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) to skyrocket this year.

Supply and demand will compete with each other. Most retailers will lower their digital marketing spend the week of December, as the ground shipping cutoff date for Christmas will most likely be December 14.

NetElixir mapped out the holiday season to analyze what marketers can expect.

During the week of November 14, NetElixir expects marketers will begin running teaser holiday promotions to drive early shopping behaviors. This activity will lead to Thanksgiving week promotions and campaigns.

By November 21, retailers will begin to provide deeper discounts, and will not be limited to Black Friday deals.

Bose suggests that retailers look to launch creative with category-level and product-specific promotions.

NetElixir predicts this to be the most important strategic week for online retailers. This is the week that large retailers will test performance marketing and creative promotional strategies.

Last-minute mobile purchases are expected to spike from December 19 to December 21.

BOPIS will remain important, and inventory issues are likely. 

Shipping cutoff dates and product availability will be the key limiting factors this year.

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