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Mondays are Big for Online Holiday Shoppers

  |  November 11, 2005   |  Comments

Holiday shoppers follow their weekend browsing with a visit online to make purchases.

Shoppers may head to bricks-and-mortar stores each weekend this holiday season, but many follow-up with online purchases on Monday. Atlas Institute's "2004-2005 Online Holiday Shopping" report says Monday is the day when most online shoppers make their purchases.

The noon- to 3 p.m. daypart on Mondays receives the most online traffic. The same daypart on Tuesdays is also busy. Researchers came up with three recommendations based on the data in the study: marketers should recognize the pattern and target shoppers with messaging that acknowledges the trend; e-tailers should work to make the transition from offline to online more seamless; marketers should further take advantage by tailoring email campaigns and advertising messages to people in the workplace.

"On Monday one thing people can do is take advantage of dayparts," John Chandler, senior analyst at Atlas, told ClickZ Stats. "The publisher, typically for a fee, will flight certain dayparts. You can get your impressions shown during peak time."

The daypart findings correlate with a daypart study the company released in September. The most popular daypart remains consistent throughout the year, but mid-week is usually stronger during non-holiday shopping months.

"It's the Monday peak phenomenon," said Chandler "It's a departure from the rest of the year."

Patterns in search parallel shopping online. Most clicks occur during the workday and during the workweek. Click-through rates are elevated in December. Mondays leading up to Christmas receive 12 percent more clicks than the average day. Keyword bids will likely increase to reflect the traffic of the season, researchers conclude.

In the five years since the report was first published, the peak of the online holiday shopping season delved further into December. The report places the busiest shopping day of the 2005 holiday season to occur on Monday, December 12, though high traffic will continue as late as December 19.

"If you order on December 19, it's four business days to get the gift by December 23," said Chandler. "I suspect December 19 will be strong, but you'll lose some portion of the population that feel it's cutting it too close."

Post holiday shopping are expected to remain high in January. It was exceptionally strong in 2005, and e-tailers should see a repeat in early 2006.

"Historically January has been strong with offline merchants, now we've seen that emerge online, " said Chandler. "It's mirroring the offline behavior."

Atlas anonymously analyzed holiday shopping behavior from November 22, 2004 to January 31, 2005 across 96 e-commerce clients.

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Enid Burns

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