Record-breaking sales — $10.8-12.7 billion — are anticipated for Cyber Monday (Nov. 30), a 15 to 35 percent hike from last year, a CNBC report indicated, citing Adobe Analytics.
The surge in eCommerce due to COVID-19 has prompted merchants to start planning for Cyber Monday in advance, with stocked warehouses and delivery drivers at the ready. But with online sales breaking records since the start of the pandemic, retailers are struggling to predict what people will want to buy.
“We face a different sort of problem today than early in the pandemic, when the issue was within the retailers’ warehouses, and the question was: Were they geared up enough to be able to pick [items] fast enough, and get it out to the shippers?” Michael Brown, partner at Kearney, told CNBC.
“Then, the issue became product availability: Was it in stock, and could companies really ship the items that the consumer had ordered? Once they got over that hurdle, I think we’ve seen a prolonged period of successful shipping,” he said, adding that all of these issues will be “combined into one” for the holiday shopping season.
The pandemic-related surge in online shopping has likely shifted some $6 billion of Cyber Week sales into October, Salesforce data shows, per CNBC.
Merchants and delivery partners are trying to avoid “shipageddon” — a maxing out of shipping capacity. Some 700 million deliveries could be delayed due to shipping capacity, according to Salesforce.
The largest delivery companies are already at “peak performance,” which makes for a good start to Cyber Monday, according to Satish Jindel, president of ShipMatrix.
Holiday deliveries this year have an earlier cut-off date than previous years, with retailers giving customers a heads-up that delays are possible.
“This is a time when stores matter,” Fran Horowitz, chief executive officer of Abercrombie, told CNBC. “What we’re going to do is shift our marketing, post [Dec. 4] … from just shipping delivery, to pick up in stores and pick up curbside.”
According to new PYMNTS data, there was a dramatic shift on Black Friday from early-morning lines as people sidestepped physical stores. PYMNTS’ “Black Friday 2020 Report: Crossing the Digital-Physical Shopping Divide” indicated that three in four did some shopping online and three in 10 shoppers bought items exclusively online.