Just another manic Monday….

12/20/2008 12:00:00 AM


Mondays have always gotten a bad rap. ‘Monday Morning Quarterbacks’ are known as know-it-alls who complain without adding value -- and when you have a slow week, ‘every day feels like a Monday’. All of this could lead one to wonder why The Adams Family’s morose daughter wasn’t named Monday.

The Bangles so eloquently gave song to the feelings of worker bees across the country when they sang, “Just another manic Monday…wish it were Sunday,” but for online retailers this holiday season, Monday seems to be the best day of the week. According to Wikipedia “In some cultures, Monday is held to be the first day of the week… many languages refer to Monday as the ‘day of the beginning.’” In our 9-5, 24/7, "Mo Money Mo Problems" culture, Monday has morphed into the “day we spend shopping online for holiday gifts”. According to comScore Inc., in 2007, the Monday before the Christmas Shopping deadlines (12/10/07) was the biggest shopping day ever online. What will this year hold? The verdict is still out; it looks like consumers may just be waiting til the last possible minute to buy gifts, maybe even until December 22nd, the Monday before Christmas.

The National Retail Federation reports that by the second week in December, only 47% of consumers had completed their Holiday shopping, compared to 53% last year. By early December, a whopping 41 Million people had not started their Holiday Shopping and only 8% reported completely finishing their holiday gift buying, compared to 12% last year. Many of those feet draggers plan to avoid the holiday masses at the mall and surf the web instead, with 40% of consumers planning to shop online, up significantly from 35% in 2007. NRF's 2008 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Study.

With shipping deadlines as late as December 23rd, there is still plenty of time to sway consumers to shop your site. According to Hitwise, Google search driven traffic is up across most retail categories year over year, with categories like Consumer Electronics (28%), Home improvement (27%) and Office Supplies (26%) all up significantly. Even Apparel (24%), Home Furnishings (16%), Toys (16%) and Sporting Goods/Fitness (11%) saw a jump over the same week in 2007. Hitwise weekly upstream traffic % increase/decrease for week ending 12/13/08 over week ending 12/15/07. This weekend's weather washout in parts of the country may keep shoppers inside cruising the keys instead of the mall. If last year is any indication then this coming Monday will be one to watch. Retailers be prepared, the shopping season is not close to done, keep your physical and virtual doors open, keep the emails coming and make sure your sites are prepared for the increased traffic (even on Christmas Day!). Here’s hoping your holiday sales do indeed have a case of “The Mondays”.