Thanksgiving Grew as a Cyber Shopping Day in 2011

Consumers bought more online this Thanksgiving Day than last, but reports from ecommerce platform providers indicate it will still be dwarfed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday… and November in general.

Platform provider ChannelAdvisor said its clients’ saw its overall ecommerce sales grow 17% vs. last Thanksgiving, which also matched its forecast.

But Thanksgiving sales were also down when compared to the rest of November. For the month, ecommerce had been 28%, according to a posting on ChannelAdvisor’s blog.

ChannelAdvisor’s clients saw its marketplace sales rise on Thanksgiving Day. Amazon.com led the way for ChannelAdvisor clients with 30% growth, while eBay marketplace sales were up 14.8%.

Sales by search engine grew 18.8% for ChannelAdvisor clients.

Meanwhile, online shopping behavior on Thanksgiving Day was significantly different from the rest of November, according to platform provider Channel Intelligence. Buying activity in the United States started strong early in the day for Channel Intelligence clients, then tapered off throughout the afternoon.

Channel Intelligence reports that during the first part of November, there were consistently large spikes in online purchases from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., noon to 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.

But on Thanksgiving Day, an online buying surge started at 6 a.m. Eastern and continued until 10:30 a.m. There was a gradual decline in buying from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a cliff-like drop-off at 7 p.m.

Channel Intelligence clients say its clients’ conversion rates on Thanksgiving were up 75% between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. compared to average conversion rates during the same time period from Nov. 1 through 23.

Channel Intelligence CEO Rob Wight said in a press release that in the early hours of Black Friday, its clients saw another enormous buying surge.

“Shortly after midnight, we noticed a significant jump in online orders,” Wight said in the release. “In the first hour of Black Friday, from midnight to 1 a.m., our systems recorded transactions equal to nearly half of all the orders recorded in the entire day on Thanksgiving.”

Platform provider Mercent said its clients’ marketplace sales were up 18% overall on Thanksgiving, and 20% in Amazon.com’s marketplace.

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