- 12/12/2011


What’s Up With Internet Traffic Spikes?

Ever wonder why traffic spikes on Mondays and plummets on Sundays at your e-commerce store?

We’ve spent a lot of time looking into this too, and we came up with a couple of theories:

1) Work is not always exciting. People use the internet when they’re at work even if it’s not work related. Email, fantasy sports, news, gossip columns, search, shopping, and the list goes on. According to the ITU , there are 227.7 million internet users in the US (74.1% of the total population) in 2009.

However, there were only 69.9 million broadband subscribers in the US, indicating that not everyone who uses the internet has access at home. According to a survey conducted by vault.com, 25% of employees use the internet for personal use during office hours for at least ten minutes each day. 13% of employees use the internet for at least 2 hours per day.

2) Weekends are for fun, especially holiday weekends. Provided you’re not working over the weekend, most people are out and about with family, friends, running errands, going to the park, taking vacations or simply enjoying their freedom from the drudgery of the grind.

3) Pivotal news, global events, and social media contribute to huge spikes in internet traffic as well which may skew the Sunday slump and Monday madness. The top 3 events (in views per minute) per the Net Usage Index for News are as follows: 10.4m – World Cup qualifying matches and longest Wimbledon match, 6.4m Champions League/European Cup Games, 6.0m Day 1 of 2010 World Cup Championships.

Ok, so now what?

Here’s what this might mean for you:

a.) Check your traffic to see if it follows this same Sunday slump, Monday spike pattern.

b.) Experiment with increasing your marketing efforts during peak days, and decreasing marketing efforts during slow days. Or conversely, try to increase traffic on slower days by offering larger, more timely promotions.

c.) If your store sells products related to a global event like the world cup, be sure to have the campaigns and promotions ready to fire in anticipation of the upcoming festivities.

For more reading on dealing with traffic spikes, here’s a post from Business & Software Strategy for Globalisation: Dealing with website traffic surge: is your business prepared.