E-commerce Update: Shipping Deadlines and Delays Affecting Online Sales

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Here, the IndieCommerce team shares an important look at current trends in the world of e-commerce.

Based on historical trends, we were expecting a final uptick in online sales on Monday, December 14, and Tuesday, December 15.

What we actually saw was a steep drop in the conversion rate (see graph below). Although traffic remained about the same compared to the previous week, the drop in the conversion rate (an eight percent average for the past seven days) resulted in declining daily sales.

This sales decline will probably continue through the remainder of the year and eventually settle into a new normal pattern that we will see going into the first quarter of 2021.

Graph showing ecommerce conversion rate of 8.65% on December 12, 6.75% on December 15

The online sales decline coincides with shipping deadlines and well-documented reports of shipping delays affecting pre-Christmas delivery of online orders. To address the shipping issues, stores should now be promoting in-store or curbside pick-up for online sales if available.

For some perspective on our current sales, when comparing this seven-day period to the same seven-day period in 2019:

  • Sales revenue is up 616.40 percent
  • The quantity of merchandise sold is up 725.56 percent
  • The e-commerce conversion rate is up 162.74 percent
  • Traffic is up 142.18 percent