With Black Friday and Cyber Monday nearly two weeks away, it appears that e-commerce shoppers are not waiting around. Data from the Cyber Holiday Pulse Index for the first two weeks of November is showing strong year-over-year growth, with online sales up over 25 percent. Average ticket value, however, appears to be continuing a downward trend for the fourth straight year, currently down over 9 percent. 2011 has been a good year so far for online retailers, and the Pulse Index will track if they can sustain or even improve that momentum in the next several weeks.
The Cyber Holiday Pulse Index, from Chase Paymentech, an acquirer and payment processor, provides an inside look at consumer online shopping trends for the key shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday shopping season.
The Index presents aggregated daily payment processing activity for 50 of the leading U.S. online retailers- measuring payment transactions, dollar volume and average ticket value- giving an almost real-time snapshot of year-over-year e-commerce growth. The data is taken directly from Chase Paymentech's processing platform and updated every business day.
By analyzing the actual payment activity for 50 top e-commerce retailers, the Pulse Index is a tool for spotting several key online shopping trends. For example, the index has demonstrated a trend toward smaller average ticket values over the past few years. While it's clear that the recession drove that trend for a couple of seasons, last year the data was able to link smaller tickets to the growing demand for digital media such as music and, more recently, e-books.
Will Online Holiday Shopping Live Up to Expectations in 2011?
It has been a banner year for e-commerce so far. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimated that online sales grew by over 17 percent in the first half of the year. As e-commerce continues to grow in importance as a retail channel, its significance during the critical holiday shopping season has also been steadily rising.
"Our Pulse data shows that many e-commerce merchants realize as much as 30 to 40 percent of annualized sales volumes during the last two months of the year," said Mike Duffy, president of Chase Paymentech. "With increased promotional activity, expanded markets for digital products, and the potential of mobile shopping, 2011 promises to be the most exciting holiday online shopping season yet. The Pulse Index will help e-commerce businesses monitor the health of the market throughout the season."
Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, added: "Online sales growth continues to rise by strong double digits as the drivers of adoption and wallet shift remain the same: convenience, price, selection, and overall value." As a result, "Forrester expects to see 2011 U.S. online holiday sales grow 15 percent over 2010."
The Pulse Index is updated with online shopping statistics every business day throughout the holiday period, from Nov. 1 through Jan. 6. Insights, analysis and commentary will be provided weekly online.
Source: Chase Paymentech
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