Best Time for Online Retail Shopping Depends on the Day of the Week

Although online retail sales typically slump during the summer, shoppers occasionally spend big bucks; it may just depend on the day of the week. According to New York-​based SumAll, during the summer months, shoppers are the most likely to buy expensive items on Mondays. While the average daily spend during the summer is $37.95, consumers hit a high of $41.13 on Mondays and a low of $34.74 on Fridays. Not surprisingly, weekend sales during the summer are also lower than the rest of the year, SumAll said. 

Between summer Fridays and weekend trips away, it makes sense that people spend less time and money shopping online towards the end of the week. When I asked SumAll CEO Dane Atkinson to put on his social scientist hat, he said Mondays could be a big shopping day because people stay away longer on the weekends and don’t have late Sunday night to make the purchases they might have thought about over the weekend.

It may also have to do with emotions,” he said. “Buying big Monday helps cheer folks, [compared to] Friday, [when] you’re buying out of need not blues.”

But the finding about Monday shopping isn’t the only trend SumAll was able to dig up. The company collected data from more than 3,000 of its merchants, comprising nearly half a billion dollars in transactions over four years, to pull out several insights about summer selling.

Several trends about summer selling:

  • WEDNESDAYS ARE BEST FOR REVENUE.
    SumAll looked at the daily revenue distribution from June through August and found that Wednesdays contribute 16.1% of the revenue during a given week. From that hump day high, however, daily revenue distribution drops to 10.9% on Saturdays and 11.4% on Sundays.
  • JULY IS THE SLOWEST MONTH FOR SALES BY THE AVERAGE ORDER SIZE IS SMALLEST IN AUGUST.
    The summer slump is most pronounced for e‑commerce sellers during July, when gross sales fall 30% from the high of December. But SumAll also found that the average order size is smallest in August —  it’s $81.87, which is 5% below the average of $86.07. (In July, the order size is 4% below the average.)
  • THE WEEK OF JULY 23 IS THE SLOWEST WEEK FOR SUMMER SALES AND THE WEEK OF AUGUST 27 IS THE BIGGEST WEEK.
    During the peak of the summer, Americans seem to take a break from online shopping. But, just in time for the start of the school year, weekly sales hit a high at at the end of August.
[Source:  Research conducted by SumAll.  26 June 2012. Web.  27 June 2012.]