The record-breaking e-commerce activity seen over Black Friday and the 2017 holiday shopping season led to a busier New Year’s online, as well. According to new data from Verizon’s* Holiday Retail Index, which tracks daily traffic to the top 25 online retailers in the U.S., both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day saw sizable percentage increases in online visits, over last year.
Specifically, e-commerce daily traffic volume was up 15 percent on New Year’s Eve 2017, compared with 2016; and traffic increased by 32 percent on New Year’s Day, compared with last year.
*[Disclosure: TechCrunch parent company Oath is owned by Verizon.]
Analysts attributed the increase to a number of factors, including incentives from retailers, promotions, and even the cold weather, which encouraged more people to shop from indoors.
“Retailers have been successfully wrapping up the season as consumers rang in 2018 by taking advantage of end of year promotions and other appealing offers,” noted Michele Dupre, group vice president of Retail, Hospitality and Distribution for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “The big chill in much of the country likely helped to heat up the digital marketplace too.”
Higher New Year’s traffic followed another notable bump over last year, as well – the week before Christmas. While you might expect e-commerce traffic to slow this week, due to shipping times that would mean some gifts may not arrive in time for Christmas, this year, traffic increased.
On Friday, December 15, visits were up 16 percent, and the following day they were up 17 percent versus 2016, the report found. This indicates there was a lot of last-minute shopping taking place online this year, thanks to things like extended shipping deadlines and other delivery incentives.
For example, the “Free Shipping Day” promotion – on Friday, December 15th – seems to have sparked a lot of consumer interest. The 10th annual sales holiday was started back in 2008, and grew to include over 1,200 participating retailers who waive their shipping fees to encourage increased online sales. This seems to have helped boost Friday’s sales this year, as well, the report notes.