2014 Christmas Sales Trends and Insights

This Christmas just passed, the UK saw some interesting and rather unexpected shopping trends. The rate at which consumers purchased online seemed to outpace even what the most experienced retailers forecasted; “click and collect” was the delivery method of choice, and mobile sales surpassed all expectations. According to IMRG there was a 14% increase in total year-on-year (YoY) sales growth during the Christmas period 2014, with approximately £21.6bn spent online from the 2nd November to the 27th December 2014.
 
At Net Media Planet, we have gathered our own statistical analysis of the Christmas period and here is what we found. The top 5 days ranked by sales volume for 2014 and 2013:
 

 
The top 3 insights from Q4 2014 digital sales:
 
• Black Friday remained the highest sales volume day of the year and the percent increase of sales volume vs the Q4 average on this day increased from a 90% uplift in 2013 to a 187% uplift in 2014, driven by a YoY increase in traffic volumes. This is likely owing to a higher awareness of Black Friday, and an increase in the number of merchants running Black Friday offers outside of North America.
 
• Cyber Monday did not see as large a spike in traffic as in 2013 (34% uplift vs Q4 average in 2014 vs a 50% uplift in 2013). This is likely owing to promotions being spread over a longer period in 2014, compared to previous years when it was more centralised around Black Friday/Cyber Monday as well as more shoppers purchasing closer to Christmas. The uplift in conversion rate on Cyber Monday did increase compared to 2013. However, it dropped from being the 2nd highest ranking sales day in 2013, to 3rd in 2014, losing out to Friday 12th December which saw a larger increase in both traffic and conversion rate compared to 2013.
 
• Sofa Sunday, the Sunday within the Cyber Weekend, saw an increase this year from being ranked 5th in terms of sales volumes in 2013, to 4th in 2014 owing to conversion rates being 52% above the Q4 average, compared to 32% in 2013.
 

 
Year-on-year it was a prosperous end to 2014 for eCommerce. As growth continues, investment into new online digital advertising channels will only continue to increase. The future of digital advertising is exciting, and we can expect great technological advances over the next year.