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December 16, 2014

New retail traffic peaks hit Akamai on Black Friday

Akamai release data alongside research carried out by YouGov - 24% will not visit the high street this Christmas.

By Ellie Burns

Cloud service provider Akamai has released figures for retail traffic volumes on its Intelligent Platform.

The figures were generated from the end of November, with the platform seeing the flurry which accompanied Black Friday resulting in a sharp peak in retail traffic volumes, almost three times Akamai’s 2014 baseline traffic levels and almost four times their average 2013 levels.

Akamai have released the data in conjunction with research carried out by YouGov, in which British consumers were surveyed about their online shopping habits.

24% of the survey respondents said that they do not plan to use the high street for Christmas shopping during the festive season, instead electing to shop online and in other ways.

Looking at the traffic patterns observed on the Akamai platform, along with the results of the Akamai-sponsored YouGov survey, indicates several interesting trends related to online shopping in Europe.

Mobile traffic has continued to increase, with mobile devices accounting for 52% of traffic this holiday season. This growth can be attributed to the distribution of devices used to browse.

iPad traffic now accounts for 21% of mobile traffic, with iPhone and Android devices representing 16% and 15%. Before the surge in mobile devices, Windows and Mac desktop traffic shares would have been in the vast majority. They have now decreased to 40% and 8% respectively.

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The use of mobile devices seems to be most prevalent in the mornings, dropping in the day and then increasing steadily into the evening. Desktop traffic showed continuous peaks during the working day.

"The rise in volumes of retail traffic across our platform this holiday season, reflect the growth of the e-commerce industry across Europe, as well as the increased popularity of key events from the global e-commerce calendar," said Enrique Duvos, Product Marketing Director EMEA at Akamai.

"The continuing trend of mobility highlights the importance of providing websites that are optimised for mobile browsing, in order to capitalise on this growth area" concluded Duvos.

The popularity of mobile devices only serves to challenge retailers, as they grapple with optimising sites and content for the many permutations of device, operating system, browser, screen size and connection speed.

YouGov survey respondents were asked how they were going to shop this Christmas, with 25% are not planning to visit any physical stores this year but shop online using their desktop.

Only 2% expect to conduct any Christmas shopping over the telephone, with desktop (25%), laptop (43%), tablet (20%) or smartphone (16%) the preferred devices.

Akamai have noted that mobile devices have accounted for 52% of observed traffic this holiday season, with desktop devices accounting for 48%.

The YouGov survey also found that 86% of respondents will shop online over the festive period, with the 1st and 25th December the days respondents were most likely do their most shopping (43%).

Cybercrime concerns have risen, with the survey indicating that the older respondents are taking the threat more seriously. 77%of respondents aged 55+ are likely to stop using an online service or retailer they had seen media reports stating a site had been affected by cybercrime. 65% of respondents in general are fairly or very likely to do the same.

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