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Cyber Monday Set to Be Biggest Test Yet

While Cyber Monday typically drives the most revenue during the holiday weekend, in 2011 it fell short in driving either the most traffic, or the highest traffic peaks. Thanksgiving and Black Friday took those honors.  This is somewhat expected; Black Friday and Thanksgiving are historically marketed as offline shopping days and therefore traffic on those days is in some part an indicator of offline purchase research.  However Cyber Monday is an online only day and therefore conversions tend to be much higher.

As of 11:00AM ET, Cyber Monday is surging ahead in both peak traffic and volume.  We're already peaking higher than at any other point this holiday weekend at 7,758,804 page views per minute.

In the chart below, you can see the hourly trends for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday traffic.  Black Friday has an atypical traffic pattern, peaking midday, versus Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday (and every other day for that matter) which tend to peak around 9:00 PM.  This morning we're trending high like Black Friday - our highest volume day - and still have a late peak to come tonight - like Thanksgiving.   I've marked out the projections based on previous years hourly growth trends for every hour past 11:00 AM.

Cyber Monday 1a.png

If we're expecting our highest traffic peaks and volumes yet, with higher conversion rates, then it's time to buckle our seatbelts.  In my last blog post, I talked about higher conversion rates creating more strain on ecommerce site architecture (see 2nd paragraph of post).  One thing is clear this morning, retail sites still have their biggest test - and opportunities - ahead.