Retail, shipping companies count on the Verizon Retail Index to help make sense of the holiday shopping season

Media contacts 
Maria Montenegro
T. 571.926.4170
Network traffic to top retailers illustrates holiday shopping patterns and trends

NEW YORK - With the holiday shopping season close at hand, and expected to be in full swing by Thanksgiving weekend, Verizon Enterprise Solutions launches the third annual Verizon Retail Index on Monday, November 21, offering insights to retailers, distributors, manufacturers, hospitality companies and others who care about the season’s retail trends.

The Verizon Retail Index tracks ecommerce traffic across Verizon’s broadband networks to the top 25 U.S.-based online retailers as identified by eMarketer based on annual revenue. The Index monitors network traffic throughout the holiday shopping season, including during signature events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Additionally, the Index tracks mobile traffic across Verizon’s wireless network to provide ‘mcommerce snapshots’ of the season. Throughout the season, Michele Dupré, group vice president for retail, distribution and hospitality with Verizon Enterprise Solutions, offers insights based on the Index findings.

“As last year’s Verizon Retail Index revealed, the message for retailers continues to focus on honing digital strategies and ‘storefronts’ because customers are now living in a digital world,” said Dupré. “While bricks and mortar will continue to play a dominant role this season for capturing wallet share, it’s imperative to make digital experiences seamless for consumers with mobile ‘malls’ in their hands and an incredible, easy-to-navigate array of choices at their fingertips.”

The first edition of the 2016 Verizon Retail Index will capture digital shopping activity from this weekend and will be released on Monday, November 21 by 1pm Eastern time. Going forward, findings from the Index will be released throughout the season with an emphasis on key dates, such as final shipping deadlines, which historically have motivated consumers to shop. The complete list of report publication dates includes:

  • Monday, November 21 – Initial report capturing data from the preceding weekend
  • Friday, November 25 – Thanksgiving report
  • Saturday, November 26 – Black Friday report
  • Monday, November 28 – Thanksgiving weekend report
  • Tuesday, November 29 – Cyber Monday report
  • Monday, December 5 – First week of December report
  • Monday, December 12 – Second week of December report
  • Monday, December 19 – Third week of December report
  • Tuesday, December 27 – Final week before Christmas report, including final shipping deadlines, Super Saturday and Christmas
  • Tuesday, January 3, 2017 – Post New Year’s weekend report
  • Thursday, January 5, 2017 – Wrap-up report

“Consumers are now wise to the new holiday shopping season ‘normal’ where the old rules no longer apply when it comes to offering incentives, keeping stores open and making those critical conversions,” added Dupré. “The keys for retail success will involve tailoring offers to customers, meeting them where they’re at for convenience and making them feel they are getting value so they do not hold out until the last minute.”

Key findings from the 2015 Verizon Retail Index

  • ‘It’s a marathon, not a sprint’: The post-Christmas market is as important, if not more, than the Black Friday weekend as the highest traffic patterns of the season coincided with the New Year’s weekend. Retailers should not give up on their engagement strategies once Christmas arrives. 
  • ‘Cyber Monday has lost its shine’: Dates such as ‘Cyber Monday’ and ‘Green Monday’ are more like typical days during the season according to last year’s traffic patterns. Effective digital engagement by the retail industry and fail-proof website platforms are essential throughout the season.
  • ‘Deadlines are motivators – it’s that simple’: Whether final shipping deadlines, the frenzied hours before Christmas Day or time-bound Super Saturday sales, it’s human nature to be motivated by deadlines and last holiday season was no different as there were significant spikes in traffic volume around these ‘moments in time’.

In addition, Verizon Enterprise Solutions is offering last minute holiday tech tips for delivering seamless and positive shopping experiences to consumers this season.

To receive the Verizon Retail Index when it is released each day, contact Maria Montenegro at maria.montenegro@verizon.com.