Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Another Hockey Stick Thanksgiving

Last year Thanksgiving Day was our biggest traffic growth day, growing 70% over the year prior, and driving our highest peak traffic of the Holiday weekend - beating out even CyberMonday - at 9:00 PM Eastern.  

With the early doorbusters once again causing controversy, we all expected another breakout year for shopping on Thanksgiving Day.   By all accounts, Thanksgiving was a blow out traffic day.   With an early peak of 4,910,674 page views per minute at noon eastern, the day finished up with a peak of 7,411,734 PV/Min at 10:00 PM, much higher than the early day projections of ~6.2 million page views per minute.  

Internet Retailer has a great article summarizing all the trends from the day, including IBM's projections that Thanksgiving sales rose 17.4% over last year.  IBM is also reporting that 25.3% of the traffic came from smartphones and tablets and mobile devices accounted for 18.3% of sales.  An unbelievable statistic.

In the chart below - looking at peaks and averages over the month of November - the hockey stick marks Thanksgiving at 10:00 PM ET.  That traffic spike is nearly 2x normal traffic levels at the beginning of November!  Note that the averages are also starting to really pick up, indicating that the days are driving much more consistent volume versus sales-driven traffic spikes.

Thanksgiving Traffic 1a.png

Thanksgiving is also starting to follow a fairly predictable traffic pattern with early peaks at Noon Eastern, and evening peaks at 10:00 PM Eastern.  The graph below shows a fairly predictable growth trend throughout the day.  Shoppers come online in the morning from 7:00 AM through 9:00 AM, for early morning doorbusters then come online again in numbers at 7:00 PM to start their research for that evenings online and offline sales, finally peaking at 10:00 PM.  (Note that you cannot compare traffic volumes year over year as we are tracking a much larger set of customers and customer sites this year than in years past).

Thanksgiving Traffic 2a.png

Does this graph look like your Thanksgiving traffic?  Did you also see traffic levels at more than 2.5 x normal levels?