Mark your ecommerce calendar: Key events this spring and summer
As we spring forward to the warmer months, retail websites are gearing up for important seasonal ecommerce trends. With several big retail events surrounding Mother’s Day, 4th of July, wedding season, and back-to-school season, online retailers can expect up to 30x more website visitors during large shopping events or national holidays.
With U.S. ecommerce sales increasing 14.9% from 2017 to 2018, the following ecommerce events are bound to drive traffic even higher in 2020.
On these days Americans enjoy pampering mom and celebrating dad with gifts.
- In 2019 Americans spent an estimated over $25 billion on mom and $16 billion on dad according to the National Retail Federation.
- In 2019 Father's Day shoppers spent 34% of their budgets online, while Mother's Day shoppers expected to spend 31% of their budgets online in 2018, the last year NRF tracked the metric for Mother's Day.
- In the lead up to Mother’s Day, online sales of flowers and gifts shoot up 1200% and conversion rates more than double.
Several industries target Memorial Day for their retail sales.
- Memorial Day is prime time for appliance sales in the U.S., whose ecommerce sales in 2017 surged 44% year-over-year to roughly $3.78 billion.
- Memorial Day is a popular time for mattress sales, whose online business in 2017 grew more than 60% compared to the previous year, for a total of $1.767 billion in ecommerce sales.
- Springtime sales of sneakers are common, forming part of the $15.4 billion in U.S. online shoe sales in 2020.
Retailers complement the grilling and firework festivities with chances to snag great deals.
Sports fans have a lot to celebrate this time of year, with NBA and NHL playoffs, MLB throughout the summer, and NFL preseason in August.
- The four main professional U.S. sports leagues lead the $14.7 billion North American sports merchandise sector, which is experiencing significant e-commerce-based growth.
- In the nine hours after the Philadelphia Eagles won February’s Super Bowl LII, online NFL merchandise manager Fanatics saw a 60% increase in sales compared with the previous year, attesting to how quickly sports merchandise can become a hot e-commerce seller.
Summer is a popular time to say, “I do”, with 31% of weddings taking place in June, July, or August.
- $72 billion is spent on U.S. weddings, and with more couples taking wedding planning online, this season is ripe for ecommerce success.
- 90% of wedding couples say they used their smartphones for wedding planning activities, including the 62% of brides-to-be who browsed for a wedding gown on their mobile devices.
- Online retailer eBay has found that wedding-related searches increase by 33% during June compared to prior months.
Back-to-school shopping covers a wide swath of retail items, from school supplies to dorm furniture, and represents the second-largest U.S. consumer spending season for retailers, only after the winter holiday shopping season.
- In 2018, online sales during back-to-school and college season totaled $58.1 billion according to Adobe Digital Insights.
- While desktop led the way in sales, an impressive 25% of orders came from smartphones, with tablets representing about 9% of sales, according to the same data.
- More than 55% of back-to-school and 49% of back-to-school consumers turned to online retailers for their shopping in 2018.
With customers jumping online for their shopping needs during these events, online retailers are likely to encounter high peaks in web traffic.
Surging website traffic is an ecommerce dream. But it can also be a double-edged sword if proactive steps aren’t taken to address website performance.
Website or app failure can frustrate potential customers eager to purchase new products. These performance issues can cut into crucial sales, impacting the bottom line. Over 81% of enterprises have downtime costs in excess of $300,000 per hour. And 65% of U.S. organizations needed more than an hour to fix website issues.
You’ll need to find ways to ensure website performance when you increase your ecommerce traffic.
(This post has been updated since it was originally written in 2018).