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When are shoppers most likely to buy? Datacember 12

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OK, that quirk about holiday shoppers that we promised to get to? Wait no longer. The time has come for Datacember to point out yet another data trend that distinguishes Monday as a special holiday shopping day.

Consider it Datacember’s gift to you. Why, it’s like Christmas in December.

We know. We know. You’re asking: “What is it with Datacember and Monday. Monday was made to be hated, to be despised, to be avoided if possible. And yet, Datacember is obsessed.

We’ve already established that Monday, during the holiday shopping season, is an overachiever in terms of digital product views and conversions (or purchases). It turns out, the first day of the work week is also a day on which consumers are highly motivated to buy, according to a relevant subset of BloomReach customer data.

The BloomReach browse vs. buy index shows that shoppers’ intent to buy is heightened as we move deeper into the holiday season. Makes a certain amount of sense. You could say that Christmas comes with a hard “buy-by” date.

Datacember gauges consumers’ intent to buy by comparing the number of products viewed on a given day with the number of conversions on that day. The idea is that if consumers are looking at many products for each purchase, then they are in a browsing mood. If the number of product views is low per purchase, then shoppers are in a buying mood.

For instance, the sort of mood they are in as Christmas fast approaches. No doubt, shoppers want their gifts to arrive in time to be under the tree for Christmas morning (or Christmas Eve in some households). That could explain the high buy penchant on Dec. 15 and 16, which showed the strongest buying intent of the holiday season, with 28 product views per conversion.

Deadlines for using standard (aka free) shipping were bearing down. Dec. 16, in fact, was proclaimed Free Shipping Day, a day in which many retailers offered shipping deals. It also meant the potential for extra fees for those who didn’t order by the end of the day.

But look at the Mondays on the chart. All four Mondays between Thanksgiving and Christmas show up as strong buy days. In fact, all four rank just behind Dec. 15 and 16 in terms of the ratio of product views to conversions — each averaging 29.

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In fact, if you look at the remaining top 10 buy days, they are evenly scattered across the days of the week. Only Friday appears on the list more than once (Dec. 9 and Dec. 16).

So what is it about Monday that sharpens the resolve of shoppers? First, as we’ve talked about before, it could be that consumers spend the weekend researching, considering and arguing with themselves, while browsing in-store and online.

By Monday, they feel like they know what they’re going to know and with the weekend in the rearview mirror, it seems like the time to pull the trigger.

Beyond that, an e-commerce executive that we spoke to recently had a theory that adds a little meat to the bones of Datacember’s theory. This executive speculated that it’s quite possible that digital shoppers add products to their online carts during the weekend and then wait to see if the price drops because of a holiday promotion — or a deeper holiday promotion.

It’s a pattern that’s been much talked about — even by Datacember.

And, as we noted last year, it can be a perilous approach for retailers. As stores — brick-and-mortar and online — offer more and deeper discounts, consumers begin to ignore the early modest deals, while waiting to make a killing.

The dynamic can erode the customer’s trust, not to mention the retailer’s profit margin. And so while having shoppers’ unwavering attention is good no matter the day of the week, it might be time to figure out more creative ways to capitalize on consumers’ laser focus on Mondays.

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