Online Holiday Shopping Study: Think Mondays
Marketers with consumer-oriented e-commerce Web sites study traffic and sales data as much as brick-and-mortar retailers perhaps more so since Web servers collect so much detailed data on visitors.
But how does your site compares to other retail Web sites?
The Atlas (www.atlassolutions.com) unit of aQuantive (www.aquantive.com) has released a study showing that Mondays are the biggest online shopping day during the holiday season for three years. Young-Bean Song, their director of analytics, says "Mondays are to online retailers what weekends are to offline retailers. Our study clearly shows consumers shop in the store on the weekends and on Monday continue their holiday shopping experience searching for better prices and bargains online."
Key action items from the report for the holiday season:
- Message specifically to weekend shoppers: On Mondays, marketers should attempt to message to consumers who have been shopping in stores during the weekend. Specifically, traditional retailers should align the product promotions in their online advertising with those promotions occurring in their brick-and-mortar stores.
- Target the workweek lunch hour: The noon-to-3 p.m. EST hours are typically the time of day when consumers buy. Marketers should tailor holiday online advertising messages to at-work audiences and take advantage of daypart advertising opportunities and publishers sites with a high concentration of the workweek audience.
- Monitor paid search campaigns: Clicks on paid search keywords reveal a similar pattern to overall transactions. Most clicks occur during the workday and workweek. Mondays in December are the biggest day for search clicks — 12 percent higher than the average day. Marketers should carefully analyze their search results to ensure that the increased click volume is worth the cost.
- Market in January, like you do in December: While always a strong month for travel clients, January has emerged as a strong month for retailers as well. This has not always been the case. In recent years, the trend data indicates that online shopping remains strong and retail advertisers should continue their marketing efforts through the first month of the New Year.
"Over the past five years, the most striking change in online holiday shopping patterns is the change in the "busy season," said John Chandler, senior analyst of Atlas and the study's author the past five years. "In 1999, the peak shopping day was sharply defined shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday. Since then, consumer confidence in the online channel has risen dramatically to deliver consistently steady and strong shopping volume from after Thanksgiving up to five-to-seven days before Christmas."
With these tips from aQuantive's Atlas group, online retailers have additional ways they can improve the shopping experience — and improve their profits.