For retailers the five days starting with Thanksgiving Day and ending with Cyber Monday are the most critical days of the year. We caught up with Phil Burroughs, vice president of retail and hospitality at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, to see how this year's retail holiday season has shaped up so far from an ecommerce perspective.
"We saw a 35 percent increase (on average) in traffic and order volumes this Cyber Monday versus last Cyber Monday," said Burroughs.
Burroughs noted that the majority of the demand stemmed from consumer electronics.
"In terms of segmentation consumer electronics, particularly tablets and smartphones, have generated the largest orders on the web this holiday season. Other product categories from traditional mall stores such as clothing and cosmetics are holding their own as well [on the web] this season," said Burroughs.
Additionally, Burroughs said that traditional box stores have experienced an increase of approximately 20 percent in web traffic and order volumes from the same period last year.
Overall, Burroughs attributed several factors to retail web traffic increases this holiday season.
- Aggressive promotions and pricing plans started earlier this year due to the compressed holiday season.
- Burroughs noted that cloud computing has been a ‘big game changer' for the retail industry over the last 18 months as retailers have come to better understand how models can scale up or down particularly during peak times.
"Retailers spend a lot of time anticipating how traffic patterns will work year round. Our job is to help our clients prepare for this [holiday season] period by ensuring that they have the right infrastructure in place. Overall the stability of the retail ecosystem is better today than I've ever seen."
- Similar to last year, Thanksgiving Day accounted for high web volumes this year, more so than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, Burroughs said that he continues to see a ‘post Turkey blitz' across all time zones on Thanksgiving Day.
"Unlike Thanksgiving Day which had peak volumes at 4 p.m. EST, traffic on Cyber Monday was steady throughout the day," Burroughs continued.
- Finally, Burroughs said that there has been a massive migration to mobile, with mobile devices accounting for 35 percent of web traffic over the past five days.
To listen to Burroughs' recent interview on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," click here.
For more information on Verizon's products and solutions for the retail industry, click here.