E-Shopping on the Company Dime
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data released this week from Coremetrics, a Web analytics provider, it seems that employees are both buying and browsing from their personal desktop shopping malls.
In a recent e-shopping study retail Web sites apparently received 40 percent more visits and 53 percent more purchasing visits on weekdays than they did on weekend days in September. A majority of those weekday visits and purchases occurred during daytime hours.
Shop 'Til You Drop (Or Can't Stop)
Coremetrics maintains the LIVEmark Index -- an ongoing benchmark for e-business performance to provide comparison data for site-wide performance indicators across more than 175 leading retail brands (including apparel, specialty retail, general merchandise, office and electronics, and numerous other categories) to help index participants better understand their business performance relative to peers and competitors. This information helps companies allocate marketing spend, anticipate threats and e-retailing trends, and make more strategic decisions about site, marketing, and merchandising efforts.
For this particular view into the LIVEmark Index, traffic data was collected during the month of September, 2005. It revealed that 62% of weekday visits to participating sites occurred during daytime hours, between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM Central Standard Time (CST) in the U.S. Contrast that with the 26% of weekday visits which occurred in the evenings between 6:00 PM and midnight CST, and you can easily conclude there's a whole lot of shopping goin' on at the office.
What Happened to Good Old-Fashioned Office Romance?
Well, it seems that the traditional office romance has been jilted by e-visits to Nordstrom's and Wal-Mart Online.
So, you might ask, what in the world, Mr. Turbo, might I do with such information? You mean, aside from firing your entire workforce for shopping on the company dime?
As a former lead for IBM's interactive advertising efforts, I can tell you the answer is, for starters you need to be considering whether or not your advertising agency or media buyer can help you buy what are called "day-parts," the time slices of a day that were traditionally "bought" by agencies for different types of radio or TV programming -- depending on who the audience is or what they were doing.
For example, radio stations issue dayparts for rush hour, where traffic reports are critical. On TV, prime-time news broadcasts dominate the early evening day part. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are day-parted for sports broadcasts. Why shouldn't the same go for Internet advertising and marketing?
If the Coremetrics LIVEmark Index can provide ongoing evidence that Web site visits occurring during daytime hours on weekdays are 15% more likely to result in a purchase than visits during the evening (which the month of September suggested), then mid-day (read: lunchtime) day-parted ad space on the Internet just got itself a premium.
Meanwhile, be aware when you click on that banner ad during your lunchtime e-shopping excursion. It's not just your boss who's watching.