Cyber Monday 2009 Post Mortem: Items Per Order Benchmarks

Coremetrics has released some benchmark data in its Cyber Monday Report (.pdf) which breaks down Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2009 metrics vs. 2008 for retail as a whole and various industries.

Highlights from the study:

  • Cyber Monday sales were 24% higher than Black Friday this year
  • Cyber Monday items per order were 10% higher than Black Friday
  • Consumers spent 5.8% more on Cyber Monday than Black Friday
  • Compared to Cyber Monday 2008, sales were up 13.7% and average order value (AOV) up 38.2%
  • Apparel and jewelry sites saw the biggest jump in AOV (26.4% and 14.3%)
  • Department stores attracted 33% more new customers, though AOV dipped ~10%

If you download the report and check out the benchmarks, you’ll notice that items per order for all retail sites were 5.92 – not bad. But when you drill down to the industries listed, none are higher than Health and Beauty at 3.31. Even department stores were 3.05 on Cyber Monday.

Curious about which categories brought the average to nearly 6 items per order, I emailed Coremetrics. So here’s a Get Elastic exclusive…

  • Office Supply/Electronics – 6.09 items per order
  • Niche Retail – 11.57 items per order
  • Pets – 16.42 items per order!

Fido’s getting spoiled this year.

While I can only speculate why pet stores averaged so high on items per order (perhaps it’s a combination of low dollar value items and high free shipping thresholds), I was surprised department stores were not moving more items, especially with the opportunity to position themselves as one-stop-shopping destinations.

Improving your items per order and AOV

How do you measure up to your industry and retail as a whole with regards to items per order?

If you’re looking for tips for increasing items per order and average order value, consider offering:

And don’t forget to optimize your cross-sells and upsells. Here are some articles on product recommendations if you’ve missed them:

Measuring and Improving Cross Sell and Upsell
Merchandising Usability: Better Ways to Display Cross Sell and Upsell
Effective Merchandising: What Sells?
Cross-Selling Tips for Online Retailers


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