2012 marked another strong season for e-commerce retail, according to the Chase Holiday Pulse, which aggregates payment processing data from 50 of Chase Paymentech's largest U.S. e-commerce merchants. Consumers continued to shop online in ever-increasing numbers. Pulse results reflected a YTD year-over-year (YoY) sales growth of 15.2 percent — consistent with most industry predictions. For the season overall (Oct 29th to Dec 25th), transaction growth was up 24.3 percent YoY, sales growth was 15.2 percent YoY, while average ticket (number) continued its decline by 7.3 percent YoY.

Some of the leading trends:

  • Cyber Monday morphs into Cyber Week: For the period Friday, Nov. 23 (Black Friday) through Friday, Nov. 30, Pulse showed YoY sales increased by 22.5 percent and transactions increased by 32.7 percent potentially powered by online retailers providing additional incentives on the days following Cyber Monday.
  • Green Monday kicked off the busiest week of the season: In terms of total transaction volume, Pulse shows that the period from Dec 10th (Green Monday) to Sunday, Dec 16th was the busiest seven-day period of the holiday shopping season, with YoY transaction up 16.6 percent.
  • Consumer’s increasing use of mobile devices: in 2012 the showrooming phenomenon went mainstream as consumers used their mobile devices to research items they saw in-store, but then purchased online.
  • Merchants extending offers beyond traditional sales days: Heavy promotional activity from merchants during the holiday season was especially evident this year, with merchants attracting more online shoppers with email, online coupons, and discounts. To illustrate this, Pulse data for the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday reflected an average sales growth of 38.3 percent YoY.
  • Continued decline of Average Ticket Price: Average Ticket Price continues to trend downward with year-to-date overall season results down 7.3 percent driven in part by additional free shipping offers from merchants and continued customer demand for low ticket digital content.

Read more about consumer behavior.

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