How Did SMB E-commerce Stores Fare During Cyber Monday and Black Friday?

moneyAlthough everyone is looking at how Amazon, Walmart, and the other larger e-tailers performed on Cyber Monday, we thought it would be interesting to see how our SMB ShopSite merchants fared during the start of the holiday shopping season.

We chose 3 days to examine (Tuesday November, 24, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday), and looked at the number of orders placed for a small subset of stores (a few hundred merchants) using ShopSite that we host on our shared servers. These merchants are mostly small businesses selling items online.

Tuesday November 24th – 4,349 orders were placed.

Black Friday (November 27th) – 3,899 orders were placed.
(sales were down 10.3% on Black Friday)

Cyber Monday (November 30th) – 5,955 orders were placed.
(sales were up 34.5% over Black Friday, and up 27.0% over Tuesday Nov. 24th)

What can we learn from this?

While the big box merchants saw a large increase in online sales on Black Friday, small ecommerce stores actually saw a dip in sales (-10.3%) as compared to a regular weekday. It seems consumers were either shopping at traditional stores and malls, or hitting the big name retailers online. Our ecommerce clients did not see the same uptick on Black Friday. It was actually a below normal day in terms of the number of orders placed.

For Cyber Monday, there was a huge increase (27%) in the number of orders placed over a regular weekday. This correlates with what the large merchants saw for Cyber Monday sales. So it seems the online phenomenon of Cyber Monday benefited both large and small ecommerce stores.

Although a number of news organizations and blogs tried to downplay Cyber Monday and predicted it would be less impacting than Black Friday for online retailers, we found the opposite to be true. Sales were up (substantially) for SMB’s on Cyber Monday, pointing to this online “holiday” being real and important for small ecommerce businesses.

Did you see the same thing for your store? Please comment below.

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8 Comments

  1. Jagath says:

    @Rob, Thank you for sharing this. The only earlier data point I had was Wall Street Journal report on 11% increase in black friday sales (vs black friday of 2008) http://bit.ly/5JKSg1

    • You’re welcome. I wish we had our own 2008 data for a better comparison for SMBs, but we at least could see how 2009 did for our ecommerce clients between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

      • Jagath says:

        @Rob – Yes, 2008 vs 2009 would’ve been great information.

        Another comparison that would be useful is – Black Friday vs a regular Friday. I have seen strong seasonality within the week for some of the SMBs I have worked with (high sales on Wednesdays, low on weekends) So was this Friday any special? Same for Cyber Monday vs a regular Monday.

        That information will be a more accurate representation of how special those days really were. If you could share?

        • Sure, I dug through our older stats for these same couple hundred stores and found:

          Friday, November 20 = 3801 orders placed
          Monday, November 23 = 4367 orders placed

          So, Black Friday (3899) was more a typical volume day.

          However, Cyber Monday (5955) was still up about 27% in terms of the # of orders placed over a typical Monday.

          Looks like SMB ecommerce merchants saw a large boost on Cyber Monday, but not much of a difference on Black Friday.

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