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Let the Holiday Shopping Season Begin

And so it begins! In the US, we can now expect the Holiday carols to beam through every store audio system and the early bird holiday sales to begin in full force. Akamai's Commerce team has been hard at work these last 9 months, side by side with many of our global Commerce customers preparing for another online holiday shopping season. As we inch closer to various online holiday shopping-related deadlines I'm excited to watch the results of all of our collective efforts to provide the best possible customer experiences.
 
This past weekend the traffic really started to pick up in the US, with 13% higher traffic at peak than the first weekend of November.  Our estimation is that Hurricane Sandy had a short but noticeable impact on retailers, and on the start of the holiday shopping season in particular.

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Despite this initial delay, this holiday shopping season is full of positive projections across all channels.  Anecdotally many of you have shared with me that you're expecting another blockbuster year. More generally, retail sales in the US are expected to grow overall by 4% (NRF), online sales projections continue in the double digits at 17% (Forrester), and sales via mobile devices are forecasted to double (eMarketer). Digital touch points continue to influence offline purchases at a growing rate, driving even higher online traffic growth.

Last year on this blog I shared US online traffic patterns across online, mobile, and social from Thanksgiving through to the last pre-Christmas shipping day of the year.  This year I'm expanding the data we're sharing by starting our tracking earlier, when the US shopping really starts (today), and following all the way through to the post-Christmas sales in Europe during the first two weeks of January. 
 
I hope you'll find it insightful to compare your site's traffic to the aggregate of 1000s of retail sites in the US and Europe.  Here are the stats you can expect to find:

 
In addition to the data, I'll also be sharing insight into Akamai's Holiday Tiger team, Akamai's products and solutions available to solve scale and performance problems, and stories and anecdotes from Akamai customer base, and industry news.
 
Any other data you'd like for me to cover?  Let me know by commenting below.  
 
I would love to have you join me and share your own stories and data comparisons on this blog.  Subscribe to this blog feed, or follow #AkamaiHoliday, @lelahm (me) and @Akamai on Twitter to stay in touch.

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