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Is Cyber Monday Real?

by Matthew Prince.

Is Cyber Monday Real?

I wrote a post last week about Surviving Black Friday, the biggest offline shopping day of the year in the United States. However, the biggest online shopping day of the year in the United States is said to be the Monday after Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday. We've been gathering data on traffic to ecommerce sites on CloudFlare to answer the question: is Cyber Monday real? Here's what we've found.

eCommerce, Performance, Security & CloudFlare

CloudFlare provides a terrific platform for ecommerce sites. Today, more than 10,000 sites that we classify as "ecommerce" use CloudFlare to make sure they are fast and protected from a wide range of threats. Performance matters in online sales: Amazon.com found, for example, that for every 1/10th of a second they can shave off your page loading time, they see a 1% increase in revenue. Security is especially important for ecommerce, and sites like Amazon.com employ extensive security teams to ensure they are in compliance with their merchant bank requirements.

CloudFlare, it turns out, powers about 5x the total traffic of Amazon.com, including a number of ecommerce sites large and small. The average ecommerce site on CloudFlare sees about 7,000 page views per day and 1,950 unique visitors. We pulled data from these sites in order to see how traffic changed last Monday.

It's Real: 45% Increase in U.S.-Based Visits

Cyber Monday lead to a significant increase in traffic to ecommerce sites from U.S.-based visitors. On average, ecommerce sites saw 45% increase in page views and a 12% increase in the number of unique visitors from U.S.-based visitors coming to their sites.

What about outside the U.S.? It turns out that while Cyber Monday is big in the U.S, it doesn't spill over to the rest of the world. Canada saw a relatively minor 4% increase in ecommerce traffic, which could be expected simply from spillovers of U.S. sales. Other parts of the world actually saw decreases in ecommerce traffic. The UK was down 5%, China was down 10%.

CloudFlare's Network Hums Along

Overall, CloudFlare saw 100 million more page views on Cyber Monday than the previous Monday, which represented about a 12% increase across our network. And attackers didn't take Cyber Monday off to hit the sales. In fact, attacks directed at ecommerce sites were up about 15%.

Over the next few weeks, we'll continue to track traffic to ecommerce sites and report on whether Cyber Monday really is the busiest online shopping day of the year.

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