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So far, shopping this holiday season is outpacing 2011 holiday shopping. Looking back over the critical week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers spent more time shopping at the top online retailers this year than they did last year. Attention was up 5% Y-O-Y on Black Friday and up 11% Y-O-Y on Cyber Monday.
Earlier this week, we revealed that for most retailers, consumers spend more time shopping on Thanksgiving & Black Friday 2012 then they did in 2011. The same trend holds true for Cyber Monday 2012 versus 2011. 7 out of 10 of the largest online retailers saw positive year-over-year growth in the amount of time consumers spend shopping on their sites.
Even more interesting is that the growth retailers experienced on Cyber Monday was more dramatic than the growth in Thanksgiving/Black Friday traffic. Amazon, for example, had a 33% increase on Cyber Monday, versus a 20% increase on Thanksgiving/Black Friday.
The disparity in growth rates is most pronounced for Walmart and Toys R Us. While Walmart experienced a marginal 1% growth in traffic over Thanksgiving/Black Friday, it saw a whopping 26% increase in traffic on Cyber Monday. Toys R Us has a 10% decrease in traffic on Thanksgiving/Black Friday whereas they saw a 9% increase in traffic on Cyber Monday.
I suspect the low/negative growth on Black Friday is a result of aggressive campaigns to get consumers in the stores on Black Friday, whereas on Cyber Monday, these retailers focused solely on ecommerce.
The one retailer that did not fare well on either important shopping date was eBay. Consumers seemed to have snubbed this online auction giant for more traditional retailers. But perhaps this metric is slightly misleading for eBay. Over the course of this past year, eBay has shifted its business model from a primarily auction driven to more a more shopper driven business. Shopping is less time consuming than auctioning which could be decreasing eBay’s share of consumer attention despite an increase in shopping trips.
Many online retailers continue to offer Cyber Monday deals all week, which means that the fight is not over. Retailers who did not attract as many consumers as they wanted to have more time up the ante and win over shoppers.
Debra Miller Arbesman is senior associate, retailer and consumer products at Compete, a Kantar Media company that helps brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers.