After reporting on sluggish online traffic and sales over Black Friday, retailers and analysts alike had hoped that numbers would be back up on Cyber Monday. However, according to data from the Verizon Retail Index, that was not the reality.
Instead, shopping traffic on Cyber Monday was emblematic of a "typical Monday….Instead, consumers are likely holding out for even better discounts as the holidays draw closer, further demonstrating that the holiday season is no longer about a specific day or set of days, but rather a consistent engagement over a longer period," said Michele Dupre, VP of retail and hospitality for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.
Similarly, holiday in-store traffic has shifted this year due to the "Thanksgiving effect," or retailers opening stores earlier than usual on Thanksgiving Day. According to data from shopkick, in-store traffic increased 12 percent on Thanksgiving Day over the same day in 2013.
The traditionally busy Monday actually saw internet traffic, typically attributed to online consumer retail shopping activities, decreased by 25 points from the prior day, Sunday. And year-over-year, Cyber Monday's results were down six points from 2013.
So what do these results mean for retailers moving forward this holiday season?
"The sluggish start to the holiday shopping season is weighing heavily on retailers' minds particularly with less than three weeks to go," said Dupre. "Heading into this weekend, retailers will likely adjust their promotions to account for a mediocre start to the holiday shopping season. Sales offers will become even more aggressive by the end of the week as Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas) draws closer."
Dupre added that retailers who are most likely to win out overall will be those who "consistently engage with consumers in the right context while leveraging the most optimal set of technologies."
Dupre believes that this year's Cyber Monday results will change how retailers tackle the big day in upcoming years. "Moving forward we will continue to see retailers engaging with their consumers early and often and be very strategic about how they entice consumers at specific points throughout the season. Also, with mobile shopping only likely to increase, retailers will also want to engage with consumers where they are," said Dupre.
According to the National Retail Federation's Thanksgiving Weekend Spending survey, traffic over the four days dropped 5.2 percent from 2013, and the total number of same shopper trips was also down to 233.3 million shoppers from 248.6 million last year.
-See this Verizon Retail Index
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