The busiest shopping days of the season did not disappoint this year. Peak traffic numbers over the Akamai network on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday were 9.2 million and 9.3 million page views per minute respectively. Cyber Monday saw an astounding 11.2 million page views per minute at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Though overall traffic numbers were definitely impressive, the growth in mobile activity was particularly interesting. Over the five shopping days following the Thanksgiving holiday, mobile devices accounted for an average of 35% of the traffic. On Black Friday, we saw mobile use peak at 46% of the traffic at 6 a.m. ET, and mobile use continued to surge on Saturday.
This is the first year that we tracked smartphone and tablet usage throughout the holiday season. Our mobile data was gathered by using an analysis of 30 of Akamai's top online retailers using the company's Real User Monitoring (RUM) functionality.
iPads have been particularly popular this shopping season, as they led the mobile device category (14.5%) and rivaled Mac desktop (15.2%) activity from Nov. 22 through Cyber Monday. Traffic from iPhones and Android devices followed at 11.8% and 9.8%, respectively. iPad activity was especially high on Thanksgiving day, as a majority of "couch commerce" shoppers logged on with full bellies in the post-company rush at 9 p.m. ET, pushing iPad traffic to an incredible 737 percent over our baseline from early October.
In total, in the days following Thanksgiving, mobile use peaked at nearly 400% over our baseline from early October; desktop traffic peaked at nearly 200% over normal values during the same timeframe.
Black Friday took the prize as the biggest traffic day this season. iPhone traffic surged early in the day and spiked again in the early afternoon, with averages of 400% to 625% above baseline from early October throughout most of the day on Black Friday. This data suggests that shoppers turned to their iPhones for the best and earliest deals, and likely later used their phones to compare prices and read reviews while they were in stores.
Here's a closer look at how and when consumers visited retailers' websites this past week:
Overall daily traffic peaks
- Thanksgiving - 2013 peaked at 9.2 million at 10:00 p.m. ET
- Black Friday - 2013 peaked at 9.3 million at 1:00 p.m. ET
- Cyber Monday - 2013 peaked at 11.19 million at 9:00 p.m. ET
- A 5x increase in Black Friday attack traffic compared to the beginning of November
- Attack traffic climbed at twice the rate that retail traffic climbed on Black Friday
Margaret Kuchler is Director Industry Marketing at Akamai