Verizon’s first read of e-commerce holiday traffic trends this year shows a consumer that seems geared up to spend.
The Verizon Retail Index for the weekend before Thanksgiving revealed a 15 percent jump in e-commerce traffic volume for U.S.-based retailers. And during peak times, the traffic showed a 35 percent year-over-year gain, which the company said suggests “that consumers are responding favorably to the ‘sneak peek’ deals that retailers are offering ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend.”
The company said that peak mobile commerce, or m-commerce, volume was 2 percent higher than the same period last year while overall m-commerce volume was down 2 percent on a year-over-year basis. The traffic is measured against each year’s 15-day average.
Michele Dupré, group vice president of retail, hospitality and distribution at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said it’s “clear that the holiday shopping season has kicked off, and that consumers are getting down to the business of shopping.”
“Retailers have refined their digital strategies since last season,” Dupré said. “They’ve recognized that consumers still get excited about Black Friday deals, yet are effectively enticing and rewarding early shoppers. It’s too soon to tell what the season will bring, but early results are encouraging.”
Analysts and economists are looking for overall holiday sales to show a gain of between 3.3 and 3.8 percent this year. With online sales, electronics, toys and apparel are expected to perform well. And increasingly, consumers are giving and receiving more gift cards.
Meanwhile, in a separate report, The Retail Economist-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index showed a 1.4 percent gain for the week ended Nov. 19. Year-over-year, sales rose “a sluggish 0.6 percent” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist of The Retail Economist LLC.
“Sales volume tends to be much stronger in the second half of November that during the first half as holiday shoppers turn their attention to bargain hunting and gift buying in earnest,” Niemira added.