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November 27, 2012

Holiday 2012: Cyber Monday and Cyber Five Recaps

Today we are releasing the final results for CyberMonday and the complete five day totals for the 2012 Cyber Five (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Saturday, Cyber Sunday, Cyber Monday).

 

First some background and a disclaimer:  We have had a lot of questions about how Same Store Sales are calculated.  Please read the SSS Backgrounder/refresher in our annual January post here.  To calculate mobile share, we aggregate the mobile traffic our customers generate from our Comparison Shopping and Paid Search Solutions.  Also, in e-commerce it is tricky to over focus on one day because systems have a variety of queuing mechanisms that really kick in on a day like Cyber Monday where you have a an extreme surge of traffic and transactions to process.  We do our best to smooth out any of these items from SSS to give the best apples to apples comparisons.  Longer periods of time smooth this out and can be more aligned with overall holiday performance (e.g. November monthly trends).  

Before we go into this year's data, I had some requests to recap the 2011 results so folks can benchmark 2012 vs. 2011.  Here is a recap of last year's CyberMonday and Cyber Five totals w/ 2011 mobile/device stats:

Holiday_2012_cybermonday_historical

Here's the completed Cyber Five dashboard, with the new columns for Cyber Monday and Cyber Five totals highlighted in yellow: (click to enlarge)
Holiday_2012_cyberfive_total
Observations:
  • Mobile was lower on Cyber Monday than the rest of the Cyber Five which intuitively makes sense - CyberMonday is a "shop from work" type of a day and computer oriented.  Looking at the Cyber Five mobile trends, mobile came in at 30.7% for this key holiday week vs. last year's 17.2% which is a very dramatic y/y increase.  Tablet's exactly doubled from a 7.2% share to 14.4%. Smartphones grew from 10% to 16.3%.  With smartphones approaching 20%, retailers will continue to need to think next year about the best strategy to optimize for this trend.
  • eBay had a very strong Cyber Monday coming in at 55.2% compared to 10.4% last year.  We had a lot of questions around why - which we cover below in a dedicated section. For the total Cyber Five period, eBay was up 38.3%.
  • Amazon had a strong Cyber Monday as well coming in at 42.4% which was impressive given their harder comp from 2011/2010 which was 52%.  For the Cyber Five, Amazon came in at 37.7% vs. last year's 49.6%.  Amazon continues to show growth that is 2X overall e-commerce which is very impressive at the breadth and scale they are operate at today.
  • CSE had a very strong day on Cyber Monday coming in at 20% y/y growth, again driven by the new Google Shopping platform.  Overall for the Cyber Five, CSE came in at 6.7% a solid showing compared to last years 4.3%.
  • While search had a strong Cyber Monday at 13.3%, for the Cyber Five, it was essentially flat.  Given the broad coverage and high placement, CTR of Google Shopping, this is actually somewhat of a positive.

 

Why did eBay have such a strong Cyber Monday?

Looking at the data, it was very broad-based (across stores, categories, etc.) which points to these activities:

  • eBay launched a holiday ad campaign featuring TV commercials and an online component.  I haven't seen any data on this nor have I personally seen a lot of ads, but this kind of activity is one of those 'lifts all boats' type of driver.
  • This year eBay was pretty aggressive throughout the Cyber Five with promotions.  Examples include eBay Deals running themed days and increased frequency.  Holiday gift guides.  eBay category specific sites (fashion, electronics, etc.) are all really tied into the holiday season as well which didn't happen last year.
  • Mobile mobile mobile.  If you look at the ComScore trends on mobile traffic (browser and apps) - Amazon and eBay have 46.6% and 30.6% share of mobile traffic.  While we can't see the mobile trends within these channels, if the average site is seeing 30% mobile traffic, then logically if Amazon and eBay have the lion's share of mobile according to ComScore, then you would expect 30-50% of Amazon and eBay's sales to be driven by mobile, but we won't know that until we see the ComScore mobile numbers from Q4 2012 sometime in 2013.
Here's the schedule for the rest of our holiday 2012 SSS data blogs:
  • Thursday, December 6 - We'll release complete November SSS results with added color
  • Friday, December 7 – We’ll take a look at the first week of December and Holiday YTD
  • Friday, December 14 – We’ll check in on the second week of December and Holiday YTD
  • Friday, December 21- We’ll see how things are looking during the third week of December
  • Monday, January 7, 2013- We’ll share December 2012 SSS and Holiday Wrap Up

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor. I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.

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