Akamai Technologies unveiled today a tool that tracks the ups and downs in e-retail.
Don Davis , Editor in Chief
Content delivery network Akamai Technologies is unveiling today a tool that provides daily data on the ups and downs in the number of online shoppers, transactions and sales at the sites of hundreds of Akamai client retailers. The tool, available for free at Akamai.com, shows Memorial Day sales this week were well ahead of last year.
The number of online shoppers at the sites of participating Akamai clients was up 11.87% over an average day in 2009—which the Akamai Online Shopping Data Visualization Tool sets as its benchmark—whereas on Memorial Day last year shoppers were 6.23% below that average. Transactions this year were up 36.71% over the average day vs. 21.2% on Memorial Day 2009, and sales were up 37.44% vs. 24.33% last year.
“What we see is that sales were up significantly over Memorial Day 2009,” says Mike Afergan, chief technology officer and senior vice president of advertising decision solutions at Akamai. “That may show there are good things to come for the rest of the year.”
The data visualization tool breaks out the data into three categories—apparel, home goods and mass merchants—and provides a summary tab for all participating retailers. It shows, for instance, that for apparel merchants shoppers were up 7.04% this Memorial Day vs. the average day, transactions up 65.58% and sales up 61.01%; comparable gains for home goods were 19.65%, 10.17% and 51.34%; for mass merchants shoppers were down 5.69%, transactions up 2.48% and sales up 28.92%.
“The data validates the idea that Memorial Day is a big day for online shopping, and particularly in the apparel vertical,” Afergan says.
The Akamai tool also lets viewers go back through each month since January 2009 and click on a particular date to obtain data for that day on shoppers, transactions and sales, plus summary data for all three verticals. Clicking on Nov. 30, 2009, for example, shows the number of online shoppers at all of the merchant sites was up 126.05%, but that transactions and sales were up much more—272.08% and 290.45%, respectively.
“The data shows that one of the key drivers of the strong holiday season in 2009 was the same set of users purchasing at similar average order values but purchasing more,” Afergan says. “It reminds us that to be really efficient in Q4 it’s not just what you do during the months of November and October, but how you educate consumers who start to become in market for your product months before.”
Data for the new tool comes from hundreds of Akamai client retailers, most of them midsized and larger retailers that are included in the Internet Retailer Top 500, which ranks North American retailers by online sales.
The Akamai Online Shopping Data Visualization Tool can be accessed by clicking the Data Visualizations tab on the home page of Akamai.com.