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    November 9, 2021
    8 minute read

    Ecommerce Expert Predictions for Cyber Week 2021

    by: Yvonne Bertovich

    In-store shopping might be back in some shoppers’ regular routines this season, setting it apart from last year. However, many consumers have become comfortable and enthusiastic about shopping online and from home, mainly for convenience.

    According to research from the Salsify “2021 Holiday Ecommerce Trends Report,” ecommerce grew by over 32% in the U.S. in 2020.

    Cyber Week 2021 will undoubtedly drive unprecedented deals across the digital landscape — online, mobile, and social — so how do you capture more customers and collect those conversions?

    Staying on top of trends, like those covered in the Salsify report, getting your content holiday-ready, and employing other best practices for digital shelf excellence will carry you through this festive season.

    But, as you push onward through your holiday ecommerce strategy and checklist, what are some final predictions to consider? Ecommerce expert Lauren Livak, director of the Digital Shelf Institute, provides insight.

    What Is Cyber Week?

    Cyber Week kicks off on Cyber Monday, this year beginning on November 29 at 12 a.m. EST.

    Though Cyber Monday describes just one day of sales, it’s becoming more common for deals to extend into the following week, earning the name Cyber Week.

    Cyber Monday has long been considered the most predominant online holiday shopping day — first, in the U.S., but is now recognized worldwide.

    The major shopping dates for the U.S. are Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Super Saturday and Sunday. This year, the dates are as follows:

    • Thanksgiving Day: November 25
    • Black Friday: November 26
    • Small Business Saturday: November 27
    • Cyber Monday: November 29
    • Super Saturday and Sunday: December 18–19

    What to Expect for Cyber Week 2021

    With brick-and-mortar stores open for longer hours and more people out and about, you might expect some of these major shopping days to reflect the long lines, mad-dashes of eager shoppers, and empty shelves of past years — however, online shopping predictions for 2021 are significant. According to Salsify research:

    • 43% of consumers report they expect to continue to shop more online instead of returning to pre-pandemic shopping behaviors;
    • 49% of respondents say they’ll shop for holiday gifts online to avoid crowds, traffic, and cramped parking lots; and
    • 77% of shoppers say convenience is a reason for shopping online.

    And, some major retailers are opting to close on Thanksgiving this year, yet another factor likely to drive ecommerce sales. There’s also little question that Black Friday will look different this year, too.

    Taking additional predictions into consideration just might be the edge your brand needs to beat out competitors in your market. Along with the expert advice below, another weapon to keep in your arsenal this winter? The Ultimate Ecommerce Holiday Toolkit — it’s everything you need to finalize a winning strategy that drives sales, builds brand trust, and captures market share.

    About the Expert

    Lauren Livak is the director of the Digital Shelf Institute and previously ran the North American digital shelf strategy at Johnson & Johnson. She provides her predictions for Cyber Week 2021 in a Q&A below.

    1. Aside from the number of people shopping online increasing, what else has drastically changed this year about the digital experience?

    Livak: I think customers’ level of expectation for what they find online, as well as their patience with content, has gotten even shorter.

    The fact that we’ve been going through a pandemic for almost two years now — with most of our purchasing being online — customers know the difference between good and bad content and know what they will accept.

    If there aren't enough images for a product they will skip it, if there aren't any reviews they will skip it — so it makes it even more critical for content to be successful.

    Learn More About Good and Bad Content

    If you’re unsure about what separates good content from bad, check out the following resources.

    2. What can brands learn from last year?

    Livak: Be prepared. More purchases will happen online than ever before this year, so it’s critical to be sure you have the proper content and are learning from trends.

    Learn More About Ecommerce Trends for 2021

    In the collection of blogs below, learn more about overall ecommerce trends for 2021 or trends specific to different verticals.

    3. If brands had to pick one focus area to prepare for Cyber Week 2021, what should it be and why?

    Livak: Identify your highest-performing SKUs on ecommerce and make sure their content is fully built out. Use historical data to analyze what SKUs are selling the most online and then build out a strategy to ensure your above- and below-the-fold content is best in class.

    Learn More About Product Experience Management and Analytics

    If you want to learn more about product experience management (PXM) and analytics, check out the resources below.

    Takeaway Tips for Cyber Week 2021

    The time is now to gather your teams and ensure you're aligned on your holiday ecommerce strategy. Here are some takeaway tips to prioritize:

    • Using data, identify your highest-performing SKUs online, then add content to them or polish them even more;
    • Pay attention to both your above- and below-the-fold product content, and consider adding updated digital assets, like videos; and

    • Keep various ecommerce trends in mind and act on them as soon as possible, such as the rise in mobile and social commerce.

    Cyber Week is quickly approaching, but it’s not too late to fine-tune your brand’s digital presence this holiday shopping season.

    Unsure how to tackle the final stretch before Cyber Week? Check out the 2021 Holiday Ecommerce Calendar for a detailed schedule packed with tips, tasks, and important reminders to guide you through the winter.

     

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