Biggest Online Sales Day Near, Hot Google Gift Searches

One industry watcher predicts that the biggest online sales day of the year is almost here, so get ready. Plus, the most-wanted gifts on Google. Can you say, "sweater boots?"
Despite the hoopla surrounding Cyber Monday, you may not have realized the volume of sales you expected. Well, don't fret. The best is yet to come for e-commerce sites, according to Stacie Leonard, search marketing manager for Volusion. She has her own ideas about what will be the biggest day for online sales in 2008 — and it isn't Cyber Monday.

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"Forrester Research predicts that online sales during November and December will reach $44 billion. Although the economy is to blame for a slower growth rate then previous years, it still marks a 12-percent increase over the year prior," says Leonard. "According to the National Retail Federation, traditional retail sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) are predicted to increase by only 3.5 percent, marking the slowest growth rate in six years. With traditional sales dropping and online sales on the rise, when will 2008 see its big day of online sales? Looking at past data, there are a number of reasonable assumptions to be made."

Cyber Monday and the Unnamed Day of Biggest Online Sales

Leonard says though the terms Black Friday and Cyber Monday are well-known, a moniker has yet to be given to the biggest day of online sales. Last year, that day was not Cyber Monday, but Monday Dec. 10, according to Leonard, who cites the record-breaking day as seeing $881 million in sales, up 33 percent over the previous year's $666.9 million.

Volusion Stats

(Click for larger image.)
"Using only seven years of data, as there are no searchable records for largest days prior to 2000, there is a chance that future big days will not follow past trends. There is still, however, a decent amount of evidence to make an educated guess. For seven out of the last eight years, the biggest day of online shopping fell on a Monday, with the second Monday before Christmas marking the largest shopping day six years running.

"As seen in the chart on the left, the number of days between the biggest online shopping day and Christmas Day has increased on average, with only six days starting in 2000 and over twice as many in 2007. This also reiterates the fact that consumers are doing their online shopping earlier as the years go by. The one instance where the number actually fell instead of rising was a rare case when, for the first time in seven years, the largest day of online sales came on a Wednesday in 2006."

The Past Presents the Future: Predicting Online's Biggest Day

With past data backing up the fact that online shopping is on the rise, when will online sales see its peak day in 2008? "Using what data we do have, this day has an 86 percent chance of both falling on a Monday, and having an increase in the number of days between itself and Christmas, says Leonard.

Volusion Stats

(Click for larger image.)
"While Wednesday, December 10th may be a good assumption, I'm going to predict that the largest day of online sales in 2008 will actually fall on December 8th. With a long shake of the proverbial magic eight ball filled with past data and seven out of eight past Mondays, 'most signs point to yes.'"

Google's Hot Products Trends

Google's Product Search team recently pored over millions of aggregated (and anonymous) search queries to put together some of the most popular products people are searching for this holiday season. You can see the season's most-wanted gifts in various categories such as "toys & games" and "specialty foods" at a special site Google created.

For instance, here in order is the top 10 list for the most popular cold weather apparel searches: pea coat, north face jacket, sweater dress, sweater boots, leather jacket, Christmas sweater, ugly Christmas sweater, houndstooth coat, burton jacket and dog sweater.

Says a Google spokesperson, "We found it quite interesting that both "christmas sweaters" and "ugly christmas sweaters" topped the list and wondered whether these are becoming really popular gifts or just fun outfits for a holiday-themed party."

As for us, we're just wondering: sweater boots?

Michelle Megna is managing editor of

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