December 17, 2009, 12:00 AM

Online holiday sales are more spread out this year, study finds

E-retailers expect the period beginning with the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the following Monday to bring in big sales. But a new study finds that this year web sales before and after that period grew significantly, too.

 

E-retailers expect the highly publicized period beginning with the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the following Monday to bring in big sales. But a new study finds that this year web sales before and after that period grew significantly over last year as well.

Search marketing firm Performics found sales for its online retailer clients grew 26% on Thanksgiving Day compared to last year. And, sales for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving-the day after what many refer to as Cyber Monday-grew 31% year over year.

Sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving still grew the most in the two-week period monitored by Performics, increasing 44% year over year. Web sales for the day after Thanksgiving grew 26% amid the vendor’s retail clients.

“Performics’ clients have seen very strong performance and growth during this crucial holiday shopping period, from the Wednesday before Black Friday to the Saturday after Cyber Monday,” says CEO Nick Beil. “In fact, some of our largest retailers have seen growth on days like Thanksgiving and Cyber Tuesday that far outpaces the growth on the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday benchmarks. Marketers have better aligned their online and offline strategies and consumers are more actively shopping online over an extended period. This change in behavior should give retailers confidence to market and invest continuously through the end of December.”

Performics says this years’ holiday shopping activity mimics that of 2007, when e-retailers continued to post holiday sales growth after the Monday after Thanksgiving up until just before Christmas. This year’s shopping activity marks a change from last year, when online sales dropped sharply after the major online shopping day, Performics says.

Additionally, Performics says that its retail clients are faring better than the industry as a whole, reporting a 5% year-over-year increase in sales for November compared to comScore Inc.’s figure of 3% growth for all online retail sales. Total online retail sales in November grew to $12.3 billion from $11.9 billion a year earlier, comScore reports.

“Many retailers are continuing to heavily push online offers and promotions that started in the period around Black Friday and Cyber Monday to maintain the positive momentum in web site traffic,” notes Beil. “In some cases, Performics’ clients have leveraged these promotions to gain transaction volume at the expense of average order values. Nonetheless, it reflects a growing opportunity for holiday advertising through the rest of the season”

 

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