Abacus Indicator: Ready, Set, Spike

According to the Abacus 2006 Multichannel Annual Trend Report, the fourth-quarter holiday season continues to see the greatest growth across all channels. Last year it also saw the greatest shift away from direct mail and retail toward the Web.

Last year contact center and online purchases peaked in week 49, with that week accounting for 13% of total fourth-quarter orders. Retail orders spiked in week 51, with 18% of fourth-quarter purchases. These channel trends remained consistent from 2004 to 2005, with the exception of a 12% increase in retail activity in week 51 of 2005.

“At holiday time, everyone has a reason to buy, and the breadth of product that appeals to a consumer increases as they shop for others. This can make learning about what works more difficult for marketers than at other times of the year when direct marketing has a greater influence in driving the call to action,” says Elisa Krause, Ph.D., vice president of analytics for Abacus. “Since the greatest portion of marketing dollars are typically spent at this time of year, testing needs to continue with a different threshold expectation to ensure that budgets are allocated to drive greatest incremental return.”

Previous Abacus Indicators:

B-to-B Web Sales Up

Shift to Online Sales Increases

Catalogs Create, Rather Than Cannibalize, Store Sales

Trichannel Shoppers Best

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