How the Small Ecommerce Merchant Fared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2013

giftAs always, comScore and IBM have released their 2013 holiday stats for the largest online merchants. The numbers paint a broad picture for the overall state of online shopping this year.

But lost in the behemoth figures are the smaller online merchants. How did they do this holiday shopping season?

First the big numbers

Here are a few statistics put forth by comScore and IBM:

Thanksgiving:

  • comScore reported a 21 percent increase in revenue for 2013 over 2012
  • IBM reported sales grew by 19.7 percent year over year

Black Friday:

  • comScore reported a 15 percent increase in revenue for 2013
  • IBM reported a 19 percent increase in sales, average order value up 2 percent

Cyber Monday:

  • IBM reported sales were up 20.6 percent, average order value down 1 percent

* IBM reported Cyber Monday sales were up 31.5 percent over Black Friday, while Black Friday had customers spending 5 percent more per order

Smaller ecommerce merchant statistics

Just like 2012′s blog post about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we took a look at a random sampling of a few hundred ShopSite stores that we host. These ecommerce stores are small businesses, typically less than 10 employees.

Each store had to receive at least 4 orders on each of the big three days. We looked at two sets of statistics: Data for the same stores in 2012 and 2013, and an overall look at all stores in 2012 and 2013.

Same store comparison from 2012 to 2013 (86 small merchant stores analyzed):

Thanksgiving:

  • Total orders down 5.9 percent for the same small merchants
  • Total revenue up 18.4 percent for the same small merchants
  • Average order value up 25.9 percent for the same small merchants

Black Friday:

  • Total orders down 28.7 percent for the same small merchants
  • Total revenue down 10.8 percent for the same small merchants
  • Average order value up 25 percent for the same small merchants

Cyber Monday:

  • Total orders down 7 percent for the same small merchants
  • Total revenue up 4.4 percent for the same small merchants
  • Average order value up 12.2 percent for the same small merchants

All small merchants compared 2012 to 2013

Thanksgiving:

  • Revenue per store up 8.9 percent for small merchants
  • Average order value up 36.7 percent for small merchants

Black Friday:

  • Revenue per store down 11 percent for small merchants
  • Average order value up 17.1 percent for small merchants

Cyber Monday:

  • Revenue per store up 17.3 percent for small merchants
  • Average order value up 18.7 percent for small merchants

Conclusions we can draw

For the big e-tailers, revenue was up big between 15 and 21 percent for the 3 big holiday shopping days. I’d still like to see a same store comparison 2012 to 2013, but we’ll run with these numbers.

For big ecommerce stores, average order value was quite flat or slightly less. What’s this all mean?

For big merchants, the shift to online buying continues to ramp up. More people are buying online, although the average order size is fairly consistent.

For smaller merchants, the waters are a bit more murky. Thanksgiving saw revenue up big, and the average order value up quite a bit as well.

On Black Friday, small e-tailers saw revenue down, and total orders down as well. Seems people are either shopping at brick and mortar stores, or using big online stores for their holiday shopping on this day.

Cyber Monday for smaller ecommerce stores saw an increase in revenue (although not as large as the big online stores), and average order value up in the high teens. Seems people were equal opportunity shoppers on Cyber Monday when it came to the types of sites they bought from.

The smaller merchants overall saw an increase in revenue, and average order value going up in 2013. Black Friday is not as big a hit online for smaller ecommerce stores in 2013. This is different from the stats we saw in 2012. Bigger merchants getting all the attention? Brick and Mortar digging into online sales?

The more alarming stat is that the total number of orders for 2013 were down on all 3 days as compared to 2012 for these same stores. Less sales, but more revenue, and a higher average order value. Is this a trend that will continue as online shopping continues to grow and slide towards the big merchants? Or is it an anomaly that will be gone in 2014?

We’ll report the stats next year to give you the answer.  :)

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