|Sun Dec 1 2013 13:03:19|
Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?
By: Ina Steiner
If tomorrow, Dec. 2nd, was the peak day for online holiday shopping, would you be satisfied?
Typically, peak shipping days from the major carriers fall between 1 - 2 weeks before Christmas Day. But this year, FedEx is predicting its busiest shipping day to fall tomorrow, Cyber Monday - that's just over 3 weeks before Christmas. It wouldn't mean the end of busy shopping days - in fact, FedEx expects this to be their busiest week of the year (85 million packages) - but it could be disappointing to retailers expecting even higher blips on the chart over the course of December.
FedEx rivals UPS and USPS are sticking with the more traditional date of December 16th as their busiest shipping days - only 9 days before Christmas.
I spoke to a FedEx spokesperson today to learn why the carrier is predicting such an early peak to the holiday shopping season. She said a condensed season caused people to shop online earlier this year. While she couldn't reveal the exact metrics the company reviews in preparing the numbers, she said a team of forecasters who work with customers throughout the year makes the predictions.
We've noted numerous times over the past month or so that there are 6 fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. As a result, retailers have been offering promotions earlier than ever. Black Friday has turned from one day into a week (or more) of retail bargains leading up to the day, and Cyber Monday is also turning from one day into a week-long promotion this week.
I've been reviewing holiday-shopping reports throughout the weekend and will share some numbers in the coming days. In the meantime, how were your sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the weekend on the venues on which you sell? Have you noticed any changes in how people are shopping this year in terms of timing and size of order? And are you doing anything in the coming weeks to entice holiday shoppers?