Flash Sales Outpaces General E-Commerce Growth

Citing Business Insider's Chart of the Day from December 14th, e-commerce sales rebounded impressively from the slump that has stubbornly persisted since the drop in 2007.  Online spending surprised research analysts by jumping 15 percent from the same time last year.  According to market research firm comScore, spending for the first 39 days of the November-December selling season were $24.6 billion. 

As well as general e-commerce is doing, flash sales may be doing even better.  Many of our flash sales customers experienced tremendous spikes in sales this holiday season, making over 100 percent gains in sales volume in some instances.

Some of that has to do with the growth of flash sales in general.  Still only five or six years old in the United States, the flash sales industry has grown geometrically in that time period.  One of our own clients, Gilt Groupe, has grown from a $5 million startup to a $500 million business (and growing).

The nature of flash sales may also account for the industry’s success during the holidays.  The flash sales industry is structured to capitalize on motivated consumers in time-sensitive buying scenarios – a consumer culture that jibes well with the impulse purchases that take place during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday season in general.

Whether we’re talking about general e-commerce of flash sales, it’s clear that online spending showed improvement this year, which bodes well for all us heading into 2012.

Happy Holidays.