01.03.2017Enterprise Tech

2016 Holiday Retail Index by Verizon tracking digital commerce traffic

By: Maria Montenegro
The Holiday Retail Index by Verizon monitors daily traffic volume to the top 25 U.S.-based online retailers throughout the holiday shopping season.
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Methodology

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.

Key findings for the post-Christmas shopping market

Sunday eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
25%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
Sunday eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
66%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

‘Everything must go!’

Ecommerce activity continued to swell in the immediate days following Christmas, throughout Hanukkah and into the New Year’s weekend as consumers likely were redeeming gift cards and taking advantage of end-of-year clearance deals.

  •  Ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up 25% on Sunday (Jan. 1) from this same day last year, making it one of the highest of the season after the Dec. 25, 26 & 27  trifecta.
  • Peak ecommerce volume also skyrocketed  on Sunday  (Jan. 1) – up by  66% – securing a spot on the season leader board. 
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
As anticipated, gift cards, returns and deals motivated consumers to rally for the post-Christmas shopping season as retailers ushered in the new year by offering great promotions to move inventory and finish the year strong.

 

Key findings for December 25th

Sunday eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
48%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
Sunday eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
78%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

‘December 25th shopping activity: ‘e-mazing’

Ecommerce activity reached a feverish pitch on Christmas Day and the first full day of Hanukkah as consumers were likely purchasing last minute ecards, redeeming gift cards and using downtime to find great deals.

  •  Ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up 48% on Sunday (Dec. 25) from this same day last year, shattering all previous records.
  • Peak ecommerce volume also skyrocketed  on Sunday  (Dec. 25) – up by  78% – breaking all previous records.
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Digital commerce is continuing to steal the show this season and the holiday weekend was clearly the tipping point as consumers with gift cards to redeem and purchases to make turned en masse to the virtual marketplace that’s always open for business.

 

Key findings for the week before Christmas and Hanukkah

Thursday eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
19%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
Thursday eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
43%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

‘It’s a procrastinator’s wonderland.’’

Ecommerce activity soared in the run up to Christmas and Hanukkah as procrastinators took advantage of shipping guarantees for on time delivery, and the steep markdowns that retailers were offering to move inventory.

  •  Ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up 19% on Thursday (Dec. 22) from this same day last year, hitting a season high to date.
  • Peak ecommerce volume also spiked on Thursday (Dec. 22) – up by a whopping 43% – though the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend remains the record holder at 44%.
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Conveniences such as extended shipping deadlines are making clear that consumer confidence in supply chain capabilities is high. No time for a victory lap yet as the post-Christmas market could get hotter with gift card redeeming and deeper discounts.

 

Key findings for the third week of December

Sunday eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
16%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
Sunday eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
37%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

‘Super Saturday is the new Black Friday’

Following lower YOY traffic volume during the week, the last full weekend before Christmas and Hanukkah saw the highest traffic of the season, edging out Black Friday weekend.

  •  Ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up 11 % on Saturday (Dec. 17) and 16% on Sunday (Dec. 18) from these same days last year.
  • Peak ecommerce volume also spiked – up by 34% on Saturday and 37% on Sunday - posting some of the highest numbers of the season.
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Frigid temperatures, red hot deals and final standard shipping deadlines created a perfect ecommerce storm as consumers were feeling the heat to wrap up their shopping. It’s far from over, as incentives abound along with guaranteed delivery promises.

 

Key findings for the second week of December

Sunday eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
11%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
Sunday eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
35%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

T-12 days until the holiday weekend: The countdown is on!

While weekend ecommerce traffic spiked over these same days last year, the weekdays leading up to the weekend remained lower than 2015.

  •  Ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up by 4 % on Saturday (Dec. 10) and 11% on Sunday (Dec. 11) from these same days last year, nearly mirroring last weekend. 
  • Peak ecommerce volume was also higher – up by 28% on Saturday and 35% on Sunday, also reflecting a similar pattern from last weekend.
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Lower overall ecommerce volume during the weekdays suggests other channels may be taking wallet share, or deal fatigue is setting in. The week ahead will be critical for driving sales as shipping deadlines loom and bad weather comes into play.

 

Key findings for the first weekend of December

Sunday eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
10%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
Sunday eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
27%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

Weekends can make it or break it for retailers.

A healthy spike in weekend traffic demonstrates the importance of getting promotions right when consumers are focused on ticking items off their holiday shopping lists.

  • Ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up by 4% on Saturday and 10% on Sunday from these same days last year. 
  • Peak ecommerce volume was also higher – up by 26% on Saturday and 27% on Sunday  – capping off a pattern of increasing peaks during the weekend.
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
With special offers now a holiday season norm, the challenge is in spreading promotions out to keep consumers interested and coming back. It’s early in the season –with Christmas and Hanukkah three weeks out – and plenty of selling still to be done.

 

Key findings for Cyber Monday

eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
(-2%)
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
20%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

Cyber Monday not all it’s cracked up to be

Despite the hype, Cyber Monday as a single day for online shopping may be losing its luster.

  • Ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers on Cyber Monday was down from this same day last year.  Though still 11% higher than the 15-day average, last year it was 13% higher than on a typical day.
  • Peak ecommerce volume was 20% higher than average which represented a sharp decline from the previous weekend’s highs of 44 and 40% respectively.
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
The focus on bridging Black Friday to Cyber Monday with strong weekend promotions proved effective before consumers likely began to tune out. The key will be to continue driving consumer engagement with creative promotions into the weekend.

 

Key findings from the holiday weekend

Sunday eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
15%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
Sunday eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
40%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

Black Friday deals kick off Cyber Monday shopping frenzy.

Digital commerce continued to soar over the holiday weekend as consumers took advantage of great deals from retailers.

  • Average daily ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers over the weekend (Nov. 26-27) was up 10% and 15% respectively from these same days last year.
  • Peak ecommerce volume roared, reaching levels of 44% and 40% respectively on Saturday and Sunday.
Michele Dupré
GVP, Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Black Friday deals continued throughout the holiday weekend, leading up to what could be the biggest Cyber Monday ever. Our Index showed a healthy increase of digital traffic. The question becomes how big a deal will Cyber Monday really be?

 

Key findings from Black Friday 2016

eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
9%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
39%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

A Black Friday fitting for the digital set.

Digital door busters did their part to bring consumers online en masse for holiday shopping.

  • Average daily ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers on Black Friday (Nov. 25) was up 9% from this same day last year.
  • Peak ecommerce volume was a soaring 39% higher than 2015 levels, suggesting that the digital engagement strategies by retailers are effectively capturing consumer attention.
Michele Dupré
GVP, Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Retailers have learned to engage consumers in a digital world given shopper response to Black Friday offers. The focus on refining the digital experience however must strike the right balance with engagement strategies that make stores destinations.

 

Key finding from Thanksgiving Day 2016

eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
10%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
22%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

The new Thanksgiving Day normal: big meals and big deals!

Holiday shopping has now joined the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football as annual family traditions.

  • Average daily ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) was 10% higher than this same day last year.
  • Peak ecommerce volume was also 22% higher than 2015 levels, suggesting that the ‘digital door busters’ offered by retailers are proving effective. 
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
High consumer confidence paired with attractive promotions have created an irresistible combo for shoppers. The challenge in the race for wallet share will be to double down and create a perception of value to entice new customers and reward loyal ones.

 

Key findings from the weekend before Thanksgiving

eCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
15%
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
eCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
35%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
mCommerce traffic change 2015 vs 2016
(-2%)
Increase (decrease) in traffic volume measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.
mCommerce peak traffic change 2015 vs 2016
2%
Increase (decrease) in peak traffic measured against each year’s 15 day average (Nov. 1-15) to account for year-over-year general network growth.

It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It’s clear that the holiday shopping season has kicked off and that consumers are getting down to the business of shopping.

  • Initial findings from the Verizon Retail Index reveal that on Sun. (Nov. 20), average daily ecommerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was a very healthy 15% higher than 2015 levels from this same day last year. 
  • Peak ecommerce volume also spiked and was 35% higher than this same day last year suggesting that consumers are responding favorably to the ‘sneak peek’ deals that retailers are offering ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Peak mcommerce volume was 2% higher however from last year.
Michele Dupré
GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Retailers have refined their digital strategies. They recognize consumers still get excited about Black Friday deals, yet are enticing and rewarding early shoppers. It’s too soon to tell what the season will bring, but early results are encouraging.