Holiday Shopping Study: Can Wayfair, Zulily Repeat Black Friday Success?

A report from SimilarWeb analyzes last year’s holiday traffic and the impact of similar drives like Amazon’s Prime Day, in an attempt to predict this year’s trends.

Every year it seems that the holiday shopping period gets longer.

This is largely due to the increase in mobile device use, and the continued expansion of ecommerce driven by both consumers and retailers.

A report from SimilarWeb analyzes last year’s holiday traffic and the impact of similar drives like Amazon’s Prime Day, in an attempt to predict this year’s trends.

It’s no secret that the week of Thanksgiving is one of the biggest retail shopping weeks of the year. However, it seems more people are doing their shopping online.

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Last year saw Black Friday traffic for leading ecommerce sites increase by 100 percent, from both mobile and desktop platforms, as compared to any other day during the previous 12 months. Thanksgiving traffic also increased 73 percent, and Cyber Monday saw an 86 percent increase over normal traffic.

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Certain traditional retailers, like GAP brands, Best Buy, Target, J.C. Penney, Macy’s, and Walmart saw significant gains in their traffic too. On Thanksgiving last year, the retailers experienced an increase in desktop traffic between 128.2 percent and 92.5 percent. There was also an increase of 150.9 percent in mobile traffic to GAP brands sites, which indicates that mobile engagement is going to be more important this year than ever.

There were modest traffic increases on Black Friday overall, and in different categories. There was nearly a 40 percent increase in desktop traffic to Etsy and a 54.6 percent increase in mobile traffic. Nike experienced a 76.1 percent increase in mobile traffic, so it could be helpful to concentrate your marketing efforts on brand loyalty drives.

Amazon’s Prime Day event in July demonstrated that even singular e-commerce events can result in increases for the entire digital retail space. Interestingly, Amazon was not the biggest winner on Prime Day, despite generating the highest amount of one day signups for the service.

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Despite — or because of — poking fun at Prime Day, Walmart was the biggest winner with an increase in desktop traffic of 61.9 percent during the Amazon event. Amazon itself saw a respectable increase of 44.9 percent on desktop and a 62.6 percent increase in mobile traffic, but didn’t place higher than second. It shows the power of engaging with an event which generates consumer excitement, even if the campaign is not your own.

Readers: Do you plan to do more shopping online this year?