VeInsights show ‘Last Minute Sunday’ now a Critical Date for eCommerce

By Kathy Heslop |

January 17, 2014 | 3 min read

According to the British Retail Consortium, December 2013 saw the largest increase in UK online spending for four years - 19.2% compared to the year before. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now well known as highlights on the eCommerce calendar, yet our own stats have revealed that there is another date that online retailers should be paying particular attention to – Last Minute Sunday.

Last year, December 21st and 23rd were labelled ‘Panic Saturday’ and ‘Manic Monday’ by the press as shoppers flooded the high streets in search of last minute gifts. And while this option was open to shoppers heading to brick and mortar stores, eCommerce is less tolerant of tardiness. The Royal Mail’s last posting date in the UK with guaranteed delivery before Christmas was Wednesday December 18, so we wanted to find out if this last minute dash was replicated online.

According to VeInsights, our data-driven insights product, after getting off to a promising start for retailers, there was a clear slowdown in sales and abandonments as December wore on.

However, the downward trend was bucked by a pronounced peak on Sunday December 15th (the last weekend day of online shopping before Christmas). On that day the total number of baskets filled was 30.7% higher than the daily average for the period measured, while the number of total sales was a massive 55.4% above average.

The urgency was not lost on these last minute shoppers either, as abandonment rates dropped to 68.6% - below the daily average for the Christmas run-up period of 73.6% - as the Sunday shoppers felt the heat.

The uplift looks even stronger compared to the figures from the day before; a 57.1% rise in the number of total baskets, and a 76% increase in the number of total sales. The ‘Clothing & Footwear’ sector showed the largest improvement registering a rise of 122.6% in total baskets and 158.6% in total sales on the day before. Unsurprisingly the numbers thereafter started to drop off considerably.

What was the reason for this behaviour?

There are many potential contributing factors to explain the disparity between the Saturday and Sunday, but what our data does tell us is UK retailers definitely experienced the equivalent of Panic Saturday/Manic Monday this year– showing that the last minute UK consumer has become more eCommerce savvy.

‘Last minute Sunday’ (if you’ll allow us coin the term) is something for online shops to keep in mind when optimising for Christmas 2014 – it is more than likely that a similar rush for internet shoppers will again happen on the penultimate Sunday before festivities this year.

So mark your calendars- Sunday December 14, 2014 is going to be a big one.


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +