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What's more important to consumers: Turkey or Shopping?

While mentions of the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock have been few and far between, one thing's for sure, I cannot even begin to count the number of times I've heard "online shopping data," "peak traffic," "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday" over the past few weeks.  

In addition to site traffic patterns from Lelah Manz, Akamai's Advertising Decision Solutions (ADS) has access to a cornucopia of behavioral shopping data.  In fact, we process 7TB of data each day to help inform the ADS-Data-Driven Online Marketing products.  The Hadoop-based Data Platform will allow us to deliver insights across our set of eCommerce sites ranging from browsing, carting & purchase behavior to social influencers.  

If early November activity is any indication, the ADS Data Platform saw weekday over weekday growth of browsing activity spike on Wednesday, November 7th.  Alongside browsing activities, Facebook influenced browsing behaviors also showed a 44% increase in weekday over weekday growth on Tuesday, November 6th.  The WoW increase of Facebook driven browsing behavior continues through Saturday, November 10th with a spike in growth on Wednesday at 58%.  These social growth rates correlate to ComScore's findings of a $10.1 billion online spending total the first 18 days of November, reporting an online holiday spending spike of $829 million on the 8th of this month.

ADS graph 2.jpg

*According to Facebook traffic referral growth, social growth is trending to be a big player in this holiday season.

As the turkey cools down our pointer fingers are just beginning to warm up.  The pumpkin pie feels like a forgotten stepchild this year while Thanksgiving dinners end early to accommodate the major retailers opening their doors starting at 8PM. And things are most certainly about to get interesting.

But do the brick and mortar door buster deals impact online behaviors?

While cyber Thanksgiving shoppers avoid the long lines and their pepper spraying peers, they are certainly exercising their clicking muscles.  Proof is in the numbers, so here we go. In comparison to Monday, 11/19, at 12 midnight, Thanksgiving morning showed a 22% increase in browsing activity.  In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, browsing behaviors peaked twice throughout the day, the first around 12Noon EST and the second hovering around the 8PM hour.  The key for retailers is that purchase behaviors normally peak once around the 12Noon hour and trail off at 3PM.  In my opinion the 12AM growth seen on Thanksgiving Day is an indication that the data will be unpredictable in the key online shopping days ahead.  I'll be keeping tabs on hourly behaviors and overall trends and ultimately decide if the Turkey was sidelined this holiday or not. 

But now it's time to eat a slice of that pumpkin cheesecake.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Elyssa Duboys is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Akamai