Online retail activity saw only a minimal 0.2% YoY rise in October.
Top-performing categories still accelerated, albeit at a slower pace. Seasonal events like Halloween helped boost Clothing, Fitness & Footwear (+5.3% online visits YoY), Food & Drink (+6.3%) and House & Garden (+7.3%).
Other key verticals, such as Department Stores (-1.2% online visits YoY), Rewards and Directories (-2.4% YoY) and Consumer Electronics (-2.9%) dipped year-on-year, likely causing concern for the all-important final quarter of the year.
October has seen greater anticipation for November sales. Searches for “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” were 3% higher over the month than last year, along with key products like “PS4”, “iPad” and “Google Home”.
Hints of the “retail creep” (the trend of retailers starting their promotions earlier and earlier in the fourth quarter) are already visible, with some top retailers launching exclusive deals to loyalty members and offering deep discounts at the start of November.
These results show that November has become an even more important month on the retail calendar. Retailers and brands need to closely track online activity on a daily (even intra-day) basis – from what consumers are searching for, what sites are they visiting, to how are the competition responding.
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