Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Dec 1 2013 13:03:19

Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?

By: Ina Steiner

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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?




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Perminate Link for Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?   Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 1 17:16:11 2013

Sales were great... We will be closing out store from Dec 10 until Jan 2. Gives us a break and the nuts out there that want their stuff delivered yesterday will have to go somewhere else.

We have found being open the two weeks before is usually a disaster so now we just close em up and enjoy the holidays.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Captain Nemo

Sun Dec 1 19:34:51 2013

I'm also having great sales, better than last year. In fact, sales have been very consistent throughout the week, with a nice spike today (Sunday).  I'll probably keep selling till round the 18th and then take off.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Dec 1 19:44:00 2013

"Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?"

I'll let you know if I am fortunate enough to make one.

Perminate Link for Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?   Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?

This user has validated their user name. by: ebayisajoke
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Sun Dec 1 20:12:59 2013

I drop ship quality Amazon products, I don't buy from eBay I only sell there so really don't have to worry.

Perminate Link for Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?   Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 1 21:21:57 2013

Like sasikat9 we close out online sites early. In our case December 15th. That does not affect our Amazon FBA (which provides by far the bulk of our sales) sales which just keep on trucking along.

It would have been interesting if you could have gotten some numbers from UPS, which by far ships most of Amazon's stuff. I would have more interest in those, than FEDEX, as I barely use them in any venue.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Dec 2 00:06:35 2013

Sales have picked up quite a bit. I'm hopeful for a good Q4. Better than last year, at any rate.

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by: mbbn This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 01:28:09 2013

Sales were amazing for me this weekend...
And hoping Cyber Mon is good too:)
Hoping for a great Dec!!

Perminate Link for Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?   Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 03:47:56 2013

sales were ''ok'' but not as good as last year.  basically ebay has tanked for me since june with sales being down 60-70%.  

Perminate Link for Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?   Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Dec 2 07:26:26 2013

EARLY PEAK?! hahahahahaa , you have to have sales for a peak to occur  

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 08:33:45 2013

Puck - like your comment.

Do not have to worry about ebay sales as I dropped them. Amazon sales down, think maybe increased competition from ebay sellers that were purged. Etsy sales are very sporadic. - have not been on it long enough to judge that site.

Right now I am grateful for any sales. Who knows for sure when the peak has arrived. For some it may have come and gone by now. Others, depending on your niche may come after the holiday?? Two years ago, my best selling period by far was the three week period starting Christmas day. That particular time period equaled 4 months worth of sales. That was on Amazon. Just a fluke or ?????

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by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 10:11:54 2013

Monday through Wednesday before Thanksgiving sales were encouraging.  Black Friday, one item sold for a nice amount but would have been happier to see ten more low dollar items sell.  That seems to never happen.  Overall, November was the best sales month in a year.   December should be a bit better.  Put off a “turn off notice” from the electric company for a month or two.

In the last few months, sales are spread equally between Etsy and eBay and they follow each other.  When one is slow both are slow.  Even sold one item on ArtFire Sunday which has not seen a sale in four months.

December has always been busy on weekends and slow during the week like the rest of the year.  Post Christmas sales have been good the last few years.

Much to be thankful about.  Last year’s “blacklisting” by eBay that crippled my business seems to have past and sales have improved.  Just waiting for those very smart MBA’s at eBay to massacre thousand more sellers in the new year and me with them.

Perminate Link for Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?   Would an Early Peak to Holiday Shopping Hurt Your Sales?

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 11:08:41 2013

My eBay selling days are pretty much ended. Any kind of spike would be welcome :) Fortunately Etsy is selling. November used to be a really good selling month--as good or better than December.

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 12:51:45 2013

Sales on ebay have been purposefully shifted over to the big box retailers, much to the detriment of the small sellers. This is done in part through deliberate increased visibility of the big box retailers' items while simultaneously limiting visibility of small seller items. Small sellers know and notice it, the buying public is oblivious to it, and ebay knows exactly what it is doing and why.

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by: JLynnPro This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Dec 2 15:59:24 2013

I had ONE sale, on Thanksgiving.  It was a biggie, though!

Nothing the rest of the weekend or today so far, but I don't close for the holidays, so I'm hopeful.

In terms of dollars, my holiday sales this year are MUCH better than last year. ;)



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