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Terrific Tuesday trumps Green Monday

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Monday December 21, 2009 )

Green Monday didn’t turn out to be the online spending frenzy predicted, but last Tuesday more than made up for it.

According to comScore, Green Monday (Dec. 14, 2009) saw $854 million in sales – down 1 percent versus year ago. The Monday was predicted by some to set new spending records.

However, Green Monday’s fizzer was followed by 3 days that each blew past $800 million. Tuesday, December 15 set an all-time spending record of $913 million.

Wednesday December 16 saw $874 million – also more than Green Monday – and Thursday December 17 racked up a very respectable $809 million.

comScore also determined that free shipping continues to be an important incentive for online shoppers during this holiday season. At least 45 percent of all transactions included free shipping, more than the same week in 2008.

The average order value for online transactions has maxed out so far at $117 during the weeks ending Nov. 29, 2009 and week ending Dec. 6, 2009; also higher than the same weeks last year. The varying values of purchase orders in regard to free-shipping and no free shipping also suggests that offering free shipping to consumers can incite them to spend more.

As I’ve said in the past, free shipping is great as long as it doesn’t cut too much into your bottom line or if you can bank on repeat orders.

Some merchants also get around it by jacking up their prices a bit to help lessen the profit loss through providing free shipping. You see it happening on eBay a lot – it’s a little confusing for consumers and I’m not sure how effective it is as it does mean they have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to figure out the better deal. However, for consumers who don’t really comparison shop, I guess “Free Shipping!” emblazoned on a site could help with conversions even if your prices are higher to compensate.


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