The days after Thanksgiving mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, a key period when most retailers and e-tailers make a big chunk of their annual sales. Shutterfly.com, a leading Photoways-like online photo destination, make more than half of its annual sales and all its profits during Q4 (in fact, it has lost money in the 1st 3 quarters and is supposed to more than compensate in Q4).
There's for long been "black Friday", the 1st Friday after Thanksgiving.
There's now "Cyber Monday" which is supposed to mark the unofficial start of the online holiday shopping season. Web sales for Cyber Monday were up 26% with roughly $600M (in the US), making it the single biggest day in e-shopping history !
The online retail industry wanted to put a specific hype on this very Monday, with more marketing and media coverage than last year, it even created a specific store - www.cybermonday.com - to help spur traffic by giving consumers a single online place to shop for deals (it attracted 300,000 visitors), so the +26% may not reflect the season performance on the web, though it should once again be a good and record one.
What's interesting is that beyond Amazon.com, which scored 12% of the day's retail market share, most of the other traffic leaders were not pure players but established brich & mortar players such as Walmart, Target, Circuit City, Best Buy and JC Penney, all finishing in the top 10 with at least 3% market share.