Top 10 Spending Days of 2010 for Smaller Ecommerce Merchants

Last week Practical Ecommerce had an article showing the Top Ten Online Spending Days of 2010 Holiday Season. The data, collected by comScore, displays the 10 biggest sales days of 2010.

How the Big Boys and Girls Did

It’s no surprise that Cyber Monday (Nov. 29) was the biggest spending day of 2010 overall. This was followed by Monday Dec. 13 (dubbed Green Monday), Monday Dec. 6, Friday Dec. 17 (dubbed Free Shipping Day), Thursday Dec. 16, Tuesday Dec. 14, and Tuesday Nov. 30.

This data is heavily weighted towards the largest e-tailers that reported sales for this period of time.

I thought it would be interesting to see how smaller ecommerce merchants did during this same period of time…

How the little guy made out

For our data, we looked at the average number of orders per store placed each day across a small sample (around 500) of stores we host. This gives us a good look at trends during the holiday shopping season.

Here’s our chart (top 12):

Orders per day (click image to enlarge)

As with the big merchants, Cyber Monday was the biggest day for sales. December 13th and 6th were very close, and tracked with what comScore found.

That is where the similarities end

Whereas comScore found the 17th, 16th, and 14th of December big days, our data shows that Tuesday the 7th, Wednesday the 8th, and Monday the 20th to be the next biggest days. In fact, our data does not show the 16th or 17th even in the top 12.

December 14th and November 30th track quite well between comScore and our data.

Our chart shows Wednesday 12/15 and 12/9 rounding out the top 10. And our bonus two top twelve days are Friday 11/26 (Black Friday) and Sunday 12/12.

Can we learn anything from this?

It’s probably not the most scientific data to work with, but some generalizations I came up with are:

  • Cyber Monday was big for everyone
    All sizes of merchants saw big sales on Cyber Monday.
  • The 2 Mondays after Cyber Monday were also large in terms of sales
    Seems these 2 days were in their own next category of “big” and are important to all ecommerce merchants.
  • Small merchants saw a peak on December 8th (Wednesday), large merchants on December 17th (Friday)
    This makes sense if you think of shipping deadlines and “trust”. Smaller merchants likely can’t ship cheaply right up until Christmas, whereas larger merchants can offer discounted shipping further into the season. Also, customers most likely trust larger e-tailers when it comes to “cutting it close” to Christmas.
  • Mondays in general are good sales days for smaller merchants
    We always see Mondays in our data as the largest sales days. This is true during the holiday season, as well as throughout the year. Maybe Mondays should be coined “Small Merchant Monday”.  :)

What do you think of the data? Do you believe smaller ecommerce merchants get different sales patterns from the large merchants?

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5 Comments

  1. e-onlinedata says:

    This is great data! I wonder how much of a reluctance to compete with the bigger retailer’s marketing efforts played in the success of the smaller guys on these days.

  2. Brian says:

    I would be curious as to the profit versus sales on Cyber Monday. So many giveaways I wonder if their profit was down.

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