E-Commerce Report: Order Prices Fell on Cyber Monday

E-commerce order volumes rose yesterday on one of the most important online shopping days of the year, according to a major payment processing company. However average order sales were significantly down. The result: Overall sales volume on Cyber Monday was essentially flat, growing less than a half-percent compared with the same day in 2007.

The Cyber Holiday Pulse Index, published by Chase Paymentech, found transaction volume at 25 major retailers rose by 14.5 percent yesterday. However the average value of each transaction fell 12 percent compared with last year’s Cyber Monday.

Aaron Press, director of market analysis for Chase Paymentech, said in a statement that the lower order totals for individual purchases are consistent with payment activity during much of November.

“For the entire holiday season, the slower rise in sales volume compared to the steeper increase in transactions has resulted in the average ticket being lower on most days,” he said. Ticket prices is defined as the average dollar spent per transaction.

Yet spending for the season to date has been a little more aggressive than the Cyber Monday snapshot. Since the beginning of November, transaction count has climbed 25 percent, and sales volume has increased 11 percent. The average ticket has come in 12 percent below last year’s level, according to Chase Paymentech.

Separately, content infrastructure provider Akamai says traffic volume to retail sites in North America spiked yesterday. By 10 a.m. on December 1, online visits to Akamai retail customer sites had already surpassed 2007’s peak visits per minute. The heightened traffic continued well into the evening.

There are some indications that higher traffic volume may not be a sign of higher spending, but rather an indication that people are investing more time in hunting for coupons, discounts, and other deals. According to Google keyword trends, consumers are conducting more searches for such promotions than in past years. Among the queries that climbed significantly this season are “coupons,” “Black Friday ads,” “discounts,” and “free shipping.”

The Cyber Holiday Pulse Index is an index based on order activity at 25 large Internet retailers. Chase Paymentech is a payment solution provider serving online retailers, restaurants and other businesses.

ComScore and Nielsen plan to report their Cyber Monday spending and traffic estimates tomorrow. ClickZ will highlight the data in a follow-up report.

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