January 4, 2007, 12:00 AM

Cyber Monday, meet Friday, December 15

Chase Paymentech Pulse Index data show that online sales volume during the 2006 holiday shopping season peaked at $118,883,022.00 on Friday, Dec. 15, as the much-hyped Monday after Thanksgiving was followed by higher-volume days through Dec. 21.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Cyber Monday, meet Friday, Dec. 15. According to the recently launched Chase Paymentech Pulse Index, Dec. 15 recorded the highest sales volume among online merchants this holiday season. The transactional data is based on daily payment transaction activity for 10 of the Top 30 U.S. retail web sites as listed by Internet Retailer for Nov. 19 through Dec. 27.

Despite the buzz about Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, the Chase Paymentech data show that online sales volume was actually higher for the indexed retailers on almost every day following Nov. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 21. Net sales online among the indexed retailers were $79,144, 941.00 on November 27– a 37.03% increase over collective net sales online from the same retailers on the same day last year. This season’s largest single-day sales were recorded at $118,883,022.00 on Friday, Dec. 16, a 17.67% increase over the same day last year. Last year, the peak sales day online for the indexed retailers was $112,801,349 on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

This season, online sales on Thursday, Dec. 21 were $80,625,335.00 among the indexed retailers, a drop of 4.76% from the same day last year. This season’s online sales dropped off sharply to $59,369, 985.00 the next day, Dec. 22.

Reflecting online retailers’ efforts to push drop-dead shipping dates later into the holiday season as well as gifts that could be delivered online, such as e-gift cards, sales were up over last on two days even closer to Christmas, with net sales on Saturday, Dec. 23 at $37,484,729.00, up 3.17% over last year and sales of $21, 28,659.00, up 16.15% over last year.

The day with the highest average ticket this season, $60.64 on Wednesday, Nov. 30, was noticeably higher than last season’s highest average ticket day, $56.86 on Dec. 11. Overall, the indexed retailers had online sales of $3,067,231,447 for the holiday period tracked, a 15% increase from last season.

Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru says the data, based on actual transactions, improve on information from other online sales tracking tools that generate estimates based on modeling. “And for the multichannel retailers, they know an online transaction versus a store transaction. That is something the others are making assumptions to get to,” she says.

The identity of the 10 retailers in the index has not been disclosed, but Mulpuru speculates that Amazon, No 1. in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide,, and eBay aren’t among them, given the $3,067,231,447.00 holiday total for those in the index. That number’s not large enough, she says, to also reflect sales and Amazon and eBay.

Potentially useful for future data releases from the index, she adds, would be a data set from a broader spread of retailers that could confirm – or not – that the trends at the largest retailers also reflect what`s happening at smaller retailers, thus delivering a more complete view of the online retail industry as a whole.

 

“It’s still a snapshot, a sample set of the entire industry,” she says. “That is the only thing left to speculation, but I think this is the most precise data set that is out there.”

 

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