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Making Sense of Christmas Stats - Traffic, Transactions, Sales & AOV's

Making Sense of Christmas Stats - Traffic, Transactions, Sales & AOV's

Previously I looked at the impact of Cyber/Manic Monday on sales through Affiliate Window. It is now possible to review the rest of the period to investigate any additional trends. I have also included data from Christmas 2010 for comparison purposes.

Stats from Hitwise indicated that Boxing Day was the biggest online shopping day so it is also possible to see if that was reflected across the affiliate channel.

Sales Revenue:

  • Peaked on Tuesday 6th December (the day after ‘Manic Monday’) with a sales revenue of £7m
  • Christmas Day was the lowest. Just over £2m in sales revenue was delivered
  • 29th December was the peak after Christmas with over £5m in revenue generated
  • Boxing day was one of the lowest days in sales revenue, despite Hitwise stating it was the largest online shopping day (Hitwise stats are based on traffic rather than sales though)
  • However, revenue generated on Boxing Day was double that recorded on Christmas Day

If we look at how this compared to Christmas 2010 there were very similar trends (please note we have compared the beginning and end of the month):

  • The peak that was seen on the 6th December was also apparent in 2010 (where the 6th actually did fall on ‘Manic Monday’.
  • Christmas Day was lowest in terms of sales revenue in both years


  • 6th December again the largest (not surprising that this was also the day we delivered the most revenue)
  • Mobile devices saw the sales peak slightly later in the month (11th December)
  • Christmas day was lowest in terms of transactions too (second lowest through mobile)
  • Boxing day was low in terms of number of transactions (slightly better through mobile)
  • 29th December best performing day post Christmas (through desktop and mobile)

*(Mobile sales plotted on a 2nd axis)

Trends are again very similar to what we saw in 2010. 2011 had an additional peak on the 2nd December which was not seen in 2010.


  • Dates that were predicted to be big online (28th November, 5th December) received high traffic volumes, along with 6th December
  • Mobile traffic peaks come later in the month. The highest days of traffic were all after Christmas Day
  • Incidentally Boxing Day was the peak for mobile traffic. Potentially due to people browsing on their new phones/tablet devices received for Christmas
  • Boxing Day was again low through desktop (the 19th highest day in terms of traffic). Hitwise data is based on traffic rather than transactions; however our data still shows traffic through the affiliate channel to be low on Boxing Day

AOV (Average Order Value):

  • More spent on average through the affiliate channel after Christmas than prior to it
  • Top 7 days for AOV came after Christmas and were in excess of £70
  • Prior to Christmas this was £60 – post Christmas sales encouraged customers to spend more

  • Similar patterns seen in 2010 although AOVs were higher
  • Major peak in AOV in 2010 before the VAT increase. Customers were taking advantage of offers before this increase – especially in the electronics sector


So what conclusions can we draw from all this data? In essence it’s a confusing picture and one that is difficult to generalise about.

One of the most fascinating and clear cut patterns was the spike in post-Christmas average order values. An equally interesting task would be to look at which products over or under indexed before and after Christmas.

Finally December saw a significant spike in mobile traffic setting 2012 up to be the year when affiliate traffic through mobile devices hits double figures for the first time. It’s impossible to say at present when that is likely to be but there’s no doubt the affiliate channel continues to throw up fascinating retail trends for data geeks everywhere.

Matt Swan

Matt Swan

As a Client Strategist at Digital Window Matt works with advertisers across both Affiliate Window and 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.

Read more from Matt

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