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2014 Valentine's Day Retail Performance Report [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Posted on February 19th, 2014 by Boyana Peeva in Performance Reports

2014 Valentine's Day Retail Performance Report infographic

Valentine’s Day ended a bit gloomy for retailers this year, although sales increased by 8% during the last week of 14th of February and online traffic and online sales were still up compared to 2013.

The Balance stated that The National Retail Federation predicted lower sales ($17.3 billion) in 2014 compared to last year’s $18.6. The reason behind was that only 54% of Americans bothered to celebrate with their beloved ones while last year they were 60%.

It’s interesting to note, however, that although overall sales during the Valentine’s shopping fever were not as high as they were hoped to be, online traffic increased over 2013, according to MultiChannelMerchant.com. More specifically, mobile traffic went up 39.6% compared to last year along with mobile sales that were up 42.9%. In addition, smartphones contributed 23.3% of the online traffic and 5.6% of the online sales, tablets – 13.3% with 11.4% of all online sales.

The aftermath: The money spent during the Valentine’s period may have decreased, but online traffic and online sales have gone up. And as we have quoted prweb.com before, "consumers spoke loud and clear with their time and wallets in 2013, telling the market that gains by online retailers were no accident.” This means that online purchasing is becoming more popular regardless of occasions and merchandise. Therefore, apart from the quality of the merchandise, the availability and performance of a website are the most important features a prospect client can look for. Retailers must remember that customers purchase online because it’s faster and easier. If a website does not load fast enough or is not available 24/7, it becomes completely worthless. 

We monitored 7 of the most popular websites for purchasing gifts for the beloved ones to see how they handled the heavy traffic load during the St. Valentine’s shopping fever – from January 31st until February 16th, 2014. And here’s how they performed:

Performance 

The performance of the websites is measured by 'response time’. The average response time during the monitoring period varied between 5.38 (harryanddavid.com) and 16.50 seconds (vermontteddybear.com). Our records show that the latter scored high delays in loading pages several times during the monitoring period, which brought its average response time up to 16 seconds. It is quite possible that while visitors were trying to select a gift and/purchase it, the specific page was not loading properly and failed to process the request, which could translate into revenue loss and irritated customers.

 Availability 

Availability, on the other hand, is measured by ‘uptime which shows whether the website was up and running while visitors were browsing in it and processing transactions. This time, only one of the monitored targets scored 100% uptime, while the lowest uptime was 96.896%. The rest of the websites did very good indeed – 98% and 99% of uptime.

See the infographic below for details, or go to the full report.

Boyana Peeva

Believes that the glass is rather half-full and that nothing is bigger than the little things. Enjoys writing, reading and sharing content – information is power.

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