Dallas, November 15, 2011 - Chase Paymentech, a leading merchant acquirer and payment processor, today launched the sixth annual edition of the Cyber Holiday Pulse Index. The Pulse Index provides an inside look at consumer online shopping trends for the key shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday shopping season.
The Index presents aggregated daily payment processing activity for 50 of the leading U.S. online retailers- measuring payment transactions, dollar volume and average ticket value- giving an almost real-time snapshot of year-over-year ecommerce growth. The data is taken directly from Chase Paymentech's market leading processing platform and updated every business day.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday nearly two weeks away, it appears that ecommerce shoppers are not waiting around. Pulse Index data for the first two weeks of November is showing strong year-over-year growth, with online sales up over 25 percent. Average ticket value, however, appears to be continuing a downward trend for the fourth straight year, currently down over 9 percent. 2011 has been a good year so far for online retailers, and the Pulse Index will track if they can sustain or even improve that momentum in the next several weeks.
By analyzing the actual payment activity for 50 top ecommerce retailers, the Pulse Index is a valuable tool for spotting several key online shopping trends. For example, the index has demonstrated a trend toward smaller average ticket values over the past few years. While it's clear that the recession drove that trend for a couple of seasons, last year the data was able to link smaller tickets to the growing demand for digital media such as music and, more recently, ebooks.
Will Online Holiday Shopping Live Up to Expectations in 2011?
2011 has been a banner year for ecommerce so far. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimated that online sales grew by over 17% in the first half of the year. As ecommerce continues to grow in importance as a retail channel, its significance during the critical holiday shopping season has also been steadily rising.
"Our Pulse data shows that many ecommerce merchants realize as much as 30-40% of annualized sales volumes during the last two months of the year," said Mike Duffy, president of Chase Paymentech. "With increased promotional activity, expanded markets for digital products, and the potential of mobile shopping, 2011 promises to be the most exciting holiday online shopping season yet. The Pulse Index will help ecommerce businesses monitor the health of the market throughout the season."
Sucharita Mulpuru, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, added "Online sales growth continues to rise by strong double digits as the drivers of adoption and wallet shift remain the same: convenience, price, selection, and overall value." As a result, "Forrester expects to see 2011 U.S. online holiday sales grow 15% over 2010."
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Beyond
Pulse Index data has also shown that Cyber Monday is not a myth - it has been the single largest shopping day of the year in recent years, but only by a slight margin. While Cyber Monday is important, the Pulse data has consistently demonstrated that online shopping activity continues to be very strong over the weeks that follow, and that merchants should be planning for near peak levels of demand throughout the season.
The Pulse Index also identified a trend indicating that more consumers are shopping earlier in the holiday season, even before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday has been a brick and mortar phenomenon for years, but ecommerce may be changing the rules, allowing consumers to take advantage of deals before the stores open.
Online Shopping Statistics - Updated Every Business Day
The Pulse Index is updated with online shopping statistics every business day throughout the holiday period, from Nov. 1 through Jan. 6. Insights, analysis and commentary will be provided weekly online. For more information and to see the Pulse Index in action, go to http://pulse.chasepaymentech.com.
About Chase Paymentech:
Paymentech, LLC ("Chase Paymentech"), a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase (JPMC), is a leading provider of payment processing and merchant acquiring. The company's proprietary platforms enable integrated solutions for all payment types, including credit, debit, prepaid stored value and electronic check processing; as well as digital, alternative and mobile payment options. Chase Paymentech has uniquely combined proven payment technology with a long legacy of merchant advocacy that creates quantifiable value for companies large and small. In 2010, Chase Paymentech processed 20.5 billion transactions with a value of $469.3 billion, including an estimated half of all global Internet transactions. In addition to the ability to authorize transactions in more than 130 currencies, the company provides business analytics and information services, fraud detection and data security solutions. More information can be found at www.chasepaymentech.com.