According to SOASTA, analyzing big data from the week before Thanksgiving to the end of December, retail traffic dips around Christmas and New Year, recovers briskly in January, rises steadily after January 2nd, and by January 26th traffic will have reached almost the same levels as mid-December.
SOASTA shares the three most interesting findings from the study, and what they mean for retailers, from information from more than 10 billion user experiences gathered from their customers’ sites.
Finding 1: Black Friday has taken over Cyber Monday online:
Cyber Monday has historically been the biggest day for online traffic. From 2013 to 2015, says the report, the consistent trend was that traffic grew in the week leading up to Black Friday, with an initial spike on Black Friday, and then a greater spike on Cyber Monday, but this trend underwent a radical shift this past holiday season, says the report. While Cyber Monday definitely experienced a significant spike in traffic, it was overshadowed by Black Friday, which accounted for slightly more than 25% of all holiday weekend traffic.
The report suggests some plausible theories for why this seismic shift in consumer behavior:
Finding 2: Every Monday is Cyber Monday
Looking at the week before Thanksgiving all the way through to the beginning of January, Mondays were consistently the peak traffic days, outside of Thanksgiving weekend, says the report. This trend persists even after Christmas, as the week after Christmas experienced more total traffic than the week leading up to it. This most probably reflects the growing number of people, says the report, who do some or all of their online shopping at work, away from the prying eyes of family members.
Finding 3: The January Surge
While retail traffic dips around Christmas and New Year, it recovers briskly in January. After January 2nd, traffic rises steadily, says the report. By January 26th traffic will have reached almost the same levels as mid-December. This “January Surge” is great news for site owners, though they need to be mindful of the fact that peak days become more unpredictable and aren’t relegated to Mondays.
Some conclusions and action items, based on these findings, are suggested in the report:
The report concludes by noting that, if you’re competing online, you’re competing with Amazon. Over the holidays, department store sales stagnated or barely grew, while Amazon saw increases of up to 32% in departments ranging from clothing and beauty to home and furniture.