Holiday Sales: When Will Your Site See its Peak Day? (*2008 Updates)

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Unnamed Days When Sales May Be Larger than the Two!
Before the 2005 holiday season began, retailers predicted that the Monday after Thanksgiving would be the busiest online shopping day of the season. This was under the assumption that consumers returning from the holiday weekend would sit at their computers and spend the day buying online. The National Retail Federation even gave it a nickname, Cyber Monday. The most important day of the season was indeed a Monday. However, the big Monday for online sales was on December 12th, two weeks later!

Black Friday
The day after Thanksgiving in the United States, Black Friday is labeled as one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year in regards to site traffic. It is also often considered the official beginning of the holiday shopping season. Online retailers have taken advantage of this information and many sites now offer discounts and promotions throughout their store during this day. Although it is often the busiest day in terms of customer traffic, it is usually not the day of highest sales.

Black Friday, 2006
According to numbers from ComScore Networks, sales on Black Friday jumped 42 percent from the previous year.
Black Friday, 2005 – $306 Million
Black Friday, 2006 – $434 Million

Black Friday, 2007
According to numbers from ComScore Networks, sales on Black Friday jumped 22 percent from the year prior.
Black Friday, 2007 – $531 Million

Black Friday, 2008
According to numbers from ComScore Networks, sales on Black Friday rose one percent from the year prior.
Black Friday, 2008 – $534 Million

Cyber Monday
A phrase invented by the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org division, Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday (aka. the Monday after Thanksgiving). Similar to Black Friday, it is one of the busiest shopping days of the year and significant discounts are offered throughout many online stores. According to the Executive Director of Shop.org, the term was derived based on research revealing that in 2004, 77% of online retailers reported a significant increase in sales the Monday after Thanksgiving. The young term was quickly embraced by the online community, with many now preparing their sites for this particular day.

Cyber Monday, 2006
According to statistics from ComScore Networks, Cyber Monday sales were up 26 percent from sales the previous year.
Cyber Monday, 2005 – $484 Million
Cyber Monday, 2006 – $608 Million

Cyber Monday, 2007
According to numbers from ComScore Networks, Cyber Monday sales were up 21 percent from sales the year prior.
Cyber Monday, 2007 – $733 Million

Cyber Monday, 2008
According to numbers from ComScore Networks, Cyber Monday sales were up 15 percent from sales the year prior.
Cyber Monday, 2008 – $846 Million

The Biggest Online Shopping Days of Years Past
According to research done by the CyberSource Corporation, peak holiday shopping days typically happen on the Monday closest to Christmas when there is still time for gifts to be shipped in time for the big day. Their research tallied the largest eCommerce shopping days in prior years, which were:
2000 – Monday, December 18th
2001 – Monday, December 17th
2002 – Monday, December 16th
2003 – Monday, December 15th
2004 – Monday, December 13th
2005 – Monday, December 12th
2006 – Wednesday, December 13th
2007 – Monday, December 10th
2008 – Tuesday, December 9th

What is The Biggest Predicted Shopping Day for 2006?
According to CyberSource Corporation, the prediction for this year’s peak day:
Monday, December 18th
This forecast is based on analysis of the past six years of historical transaction volumes, plus the number of shipping days remaining before Christmas.
*The largest shopping day actually occurred on Wednesday, December 13th with $666.9 million spent online.

The Biggest Online Shopping Day of 2007
Monday, December 10th saw $881 million in sales. This was up 33 percent versus the previous year’s total of $666.9 million. In 2007, this day was regarded as the heaviest online spending day on record.

The Biggest Online Shopping Day of 2008
Tuesday, December 9th saw $887 million in sales. Although the increase was minimal, this day is regarded as the heaviest online spending day on record thus far.

Your Site’s Largest Shopping Day
So when will your site see its peak day of holiday sales? Although there are proven days of higher online sales, your site’s Cyber or Black day could be completely different than the norm. For example, someone will likely shop for a larger Christmas gift earlier in the season, while shopping for a smaller gift closer to the actual day. Although research has revealed specific days of increased online sales activity, it also proves that a site should always be ready for holiday sales, regardless of the day of the week!

-Stacie Leonard, Ecommerce Marketing/Copywriting

2 Responses to “Holiday Sales: When Will Your Site See its Peak Day? (*2008 Updates)”

  1. Black Friday Sale

    We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops. -Henny Youngman :o) Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  2. miker

    My sales definitely show increases starting late September steadily increasing through Oct, November, and December. Black Friday, Cyber Monday both are nothing special to me. My best days are Wednesdays year round which is when all my sites get the most unique hits and page views. Fridays-Sunday all sales slow down on my sites, people are not at work on the computer browsing the net. My absolute best day was mid December of 06 with over $2300 in sales from one site alone, no paid advertising either so it was a good season. I had earlier in the year go a little working capital to help with marketing for the first quarter which has help sales continue to come in even after ad campaigns have finished.

    Reply

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