INside Performance Marketing
Peak Season Trading Offers A Confusing Picture

Peak Season Trading Offers A Confusing Picture

There has been a lot of speculation around the busiest shopping days online in the run up to Christmas with two key dates having been widely discussed. The first is ‘Cyber Monday’ which falls on the 28th November. Cyber Monday is a concept that was first introduced in the US in 2005, after it was identified as being one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. This is the first Monday after ‘Black Friday’ - the first Friday after thanksgiving.

In addition to Cyber Monday, ‘Mega Monday’ is also widely anticipated to be one of the biggest days for online shopping. This is the first Monday in December – falling on Monday 5th December this year.

As both of these days have grown in prominence, more advertisers are offering discounts to drive visitors to their sites to take advantage of these peak sales periods.

With the adverse weather conditions affecting Christmas delivery dates last year, online shoppers were predicted to shop early to avoid disappointment.

We have been able to look at our data to investigate the patterns across the affiliate channel during this period.

Cyber Monday (28th November) was the best performing day of the week in terms of sales revenue – with over £6.5m worth of transaction value generated that day alone. It was also the day with the greatest volume of traffic through to our advertisers. In terms of the number of actual transactions it was the second highest day of the week with well over 100,000 occurring through the network.

The biggest volume driving day in terms transactions was Friday 2nd December. This was only slightly higher than the volumes delivered on Cyber Monday though. If we look at the following week, Monday 5th December actually out performed Cyber Monday (as predicted by Amazon) and saw the highest volume of traffic so far this year. However, it was not the best day in terms of sales volumes. This was actually Tuesday 6th December when Affiliate Window tracked over £7m in sales revenue with sales up 18% on Cyber Monday. Although traffic was slightly down on the previous day, traffic on the 6th December converted at the highest rate seen so far in December at 7.4 %

If we compare this year’s stats to what we saw last year, Cyber Monday 2010 was actually the 2nd quietest day of the week. Mega Monday, which fell on Monday 6th December last year, was 20% up on Cyber Monday in terms of transactions.

So how does this compare to what has been reported through other sources?

Amazon made the prediction that Monday 5th of December would be the largest online shopping day of the year and this was a prediction that turned out to be true for Amazon. They reported that Monday 5th was the biggest day for them online, with over 3 million transactions taking place. The highest selling product was the Kindle.

John Lewis also reported that they experienced their best ever week during this period. This came in a week where Verdict Research released their findings from a study on Christmas spending. It found despite low consumer confidence and disposable incomes, a high proportion of shoppers questioned between November 28th and December 4th were planning to spend the same or more than they did last year.

With m-commerce really having taken off this year, it is not surprising to see that a number of purchases were made through mobile devices. In fact, Internet Retailing report that 12% of all online purchases made on Cyber Monday were made through mobile devices.

As was widely anticipated, Cyber and Mega Monday’s were both massive online shopping days. However, behind the headlines of the two peak Mondays, our statistics indicate that the picture is far less clear cut. As we move further towards Christmas it will be interesting to see where additional peaks occur.

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Matt Swan

Matt Swan

As a Client Strategist at Digital Window Matt works with advertisers across both Affiliate Window and buy.at platforms. The role involves working closely with the account management and business development teams on delivering and optimising affiliate campaigns.

Matt also works on research projects both for individual clients and overall market trends. He has recently undertaken research into the mobile network sector and also investigating the growth of m-commerce within the affiliate channel.

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