At BT Fresca, we’ve just had a peek at the stats from this year’s online Christmas sales.

They reveal that retailers delivered their best ever trading figures on our FrescaCommerce Platform during Christmas 2011, with daily sales up an average 46 per cent on last year. 30 November 2011, ‘Whopping Wednesday’, was the most popular shopping day, coinciding with industrial action by  many workers across the UK, followed by ‘Manic Monday’ (28 November) and ‘Cyber Monday’ (5 December). 

Predictions from some commentators that Christmas Day would be more popular than Boxing Day (when post-Christmas sales are officially launched) were dumbfounded, with 26 December continuing to be the most popular post-Christmas shopping day.

We work with a whole host of retailers, having created online stores for leading fashion and lifestyle brands such as Coast, Great Little Trading Company, Habitat, Jane Norman, JJB Sports, Karen Millen, Matalan, Matches Fashion, Oasis, The Perfume Shop, Snow+Rock, Thomas Pink, TJ Hughes and Warehouse.

This was a record breaking Christmas period with the highest ever weekly, daily and hourly traffic volumes and transactions, as shoppers took full advantage of promotional activity. The two week period at the end of November and the beginning of December was considerably busier than the pronounced spike experienced in 2010.  This Christmas also saw a growing trend for ‘early week’ shopping with Sunday evenings and Mondays being particularly busy.  Another trend is the increasing use of ‘flash sales’ to drive traffic. 

2011 showed a differing trend to previous years with a number of peaks in orders volumes as opposed to just one.  It’s also interesting that the week leading up to Christmas, historically a ‘no-go’ for online retailers, is now coming into its own.  Even at 20 December, there were still high order volumes, at least as high as the beginning of November, in part due to sharpened delivery strategies, giving customers confidence their orders will arrive before the big day.

While total order numbers have grown in 2011, average values of orders have dipped for many retailers, reflecting the high levels of promotional activity and re-enforcing the trend that more and more value retailers are moving online and promoting this channel to their customers.

Whether or not people were striking or working from home or simply unable to get to work because of the industrial action it seems many decided November 30 was a good time to do their Christmas shopping online.

Christmas StatsChristmas Stats, click to enlarge

Compared to Christmas 2010, Christmas 2011 represented Year on Year (YoY) changes in:

  • Order Volume of +46%
  • Order Value of +20%
  • Average Order Value of -18%

Compared with last year, 2011 represented Year on Year (YoY) changes in:

  • Order Volume of +58%
  • Order Value of +32%
  • Average Order Value of -17%