Datacember 7th: What to call the new hot holiday Monday?

 

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In a holiday retail world awash with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day, Green Monday, Gray Thursday etc., we need another one.

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Yes, another name for another day of big-time shopping. “The Monday before Thanksgiving” isn’t going to cut it. Neither is “Whatever Monday.” “Monday” is accurate, but vague and already taken.

But the day needs a name. BloomReach data shows that Monday Nov. 23, this year, was a major e-commerce player, coming in at No. 5 on the list of top November sales days and No. 4 on the list of days with the most product views, a key indicator of serious shopping.

To put the day in perspective, consider that there were nearly as many online orders placed on the Monday before Thanksgiving (Monday X below) as there were on Thanksgiving Day itself, which is growing in importance as an online shopping day. In fact, Nov. 23 sales fell only 7 percent short of the number of conversions on Thanksgiving and were more than four times higher than Monday the week before, which was clearly just a mortal Monday.   

conversions 2015

In fact, in looking at the traditional big four November shopping days, BloomReach data shows that “Whatever Monday” saw about 84 percent of the conversions seen on Veterans Day, 71 percent of the sales conducted on Black Friday and just over half the number seen on Cyber Monday.

And consumers were also heavily into digital window shopping on the Monday before Thanksgiving, according to BloomReach’s figures on products viewed online. The day ranked just behind Thanksgiving and well ahead of Veterans Day, which in itself is becoming a big day for online shoppers.

Conversions on the fourth Monday of the month saw a similar spike in 2014, but the trend is gaining momentum, with conversions in 2015 up more than 18 percent from the Monday before Thanksgiving in 2014.

The graph below shows the percentage of online conversions during the period represented by each day.

daily pct of total sales - VD to CM

The numbers are compelling, but of course they don’t tell us why the shopping bug is so big on the fourth Monday of November. Knowing what’s behind the numbers would be helpful in coming up with a name for the newest shopping day.

Mike Baumgarten, marketing manager at predictive marketing company Custora, has been keeping an eye on Mondays during recent holiday shopping seasons. No question, there is something going on, he says, though the company has focused on the traditional shopping season, starting with Thanksgiving.

“There are some big peaks on the Mondays following Cyber Monday, especially,” Baumgarten tells me. “It’s almost like a (rising) curve over the past couple of years for Monday. Then it will go down a bit for the weekend and peak back up again for Monday.”

Indeed, the company’s “E-commerce Pulse 2014 Holiday Recap” lists the six biggest holiday shopping days by revenue. Three of them are Mondays, including Cyber Monday.  

I asked whether the Monday bump could have something to do with shoppers browsing, both online and in-stores, over the weekend and then getting serious about making a purchase once the work week starts again.

Baumgarten says the theory makes sense. If that’s the case, he adds, it will be interesting to watch in the future to see how consumers’ increasing conversions on mobile devices figure into the Monday trend. His thinking: When consumers are essentially chilling on the weekend, they’re more likely to be relying on mobile as their go-to computing device. For now that means more browsing and less buying.

“I know that a lot of people previously would do browsing on mobile and make purchases either in person or on the desktop computer,” he says. “But it seems to be shifting a little bit. People are becoming more comfortable purchasing on their mobile devices.”

So maybe some of those Monday purchases will be executed on the weekend — and on phones — in the future.

It’s all speculative, of course, which might be a minor violation of Datacember, when the joy of data rules. But one thing is increasingly clear: Whatever the forces behind the numbers, consumers are taking charge of the shopping experience. They will figure out when they want to shop and where and on what devices.

And for now, the Monday before Thanksgiving looks like a shopping powerhouse. So a name. We need one.

We could go with “Manic Monday,” based on the thinking that faced with Thanksgiving barreling down on them, consumers begin feeling that mild panic that sometimes accompanies holiday shopping. Or maybe “Magic Monday,” a nod to the idea that it’s when the magic really starts to happen for retailers awaiting the holiday shoppers.  “Money Monday?” Sounds a little greedy.

OK, to be honest, I don’t have a fantastic name at the ready. And given that consumers are running this show, maybe it’s best that we hand the naming over to those who are making the day what it is.

What do you say? Do you have catchy name for this latest day to join the pantheon of big, holiday shopping events? Send it along or add it to the comments section.

We could use all the help we can get.

Datacember photo byTheUglySweaterShop.com published under Creative Commons license. Source for graphics: BloomReach. Data analysis was conducted across a subset of BloomReach’s e-commerce customers.

Mike Cassidy is BloomReach’s storyteller. Contact him at mike.cassidy@bloomreach.com; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.