Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association

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Atlas Delivers Fifth-Annual Online Holiday Shopping Study

Mondays reign as the biggest online shopping day during the holiday season for three years running, according to Atlas's fifth annual study released today. Atlas (www.AtlasSolutions.com), a provider of digital marketing technologies and expertise, and an operating unit of aQuantive, Inc. (NASDAQ:AQNT), also predicts the single biggest day of the 2005 online holiday shopping season will take place on a Monday -- December 12th.

"Mondays are to online retailers what weekends are to offline retailers," said Young-Bean Song, director of analytics, Atlas. "Our study clearly shows consumers shop in the store on the weekends and on Monday continue their holiday shopping experience searching for better prices and bargains online."

Atlas notes key conclusions and recommendations for marketers this holiday season:

-- Message specifically to weekend shoppers: On Mondays, marketers should attempt to message to consumers who have been shopping in stores during the weekend. Specifically, traditional retailers should align the product promotions in their online advertising with those promotions occurring in their brick-and-mortar stores.

-- Target the workweek lunch hour: The noon-to-3 p.m. EST hours are typically the time of day when consumers buy. Marketers should tailor holiday online advertising messages to at-work audiences and take advantage of daypart advertising opportunities and publishers sites with a high concentration of the workweek audience.

-- Monitor paid search campaigns: Clicks on paid search keywords reveal a similar pattern to overall transactions. Most clicks occur during the workday and workweek. Mondays in December are the biggest day for search clicks - 12 percent higher than the average day. Marketers should carefully analyze their search results to ensure that the increased click volume is worth the cost.

-- Market in January, like you do in December: While always a strong month for travel clients, January has emerged as a strong month for retailers as well. This has not always been the case. In recent years, the trend data indicates that online shopping remains strong and retail advertisers should continue their marketing efforts through the first month of the New Year.

"Over the past five years, the most striking change in online holiday shopping patterns is the change in the 'busy season,'" said John Chandler, senior analyst of Atlas and the study's author the past five years. "In 1999, the peak shopping day was sharply defined shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday. Since then, consumer confidence in the online channel has risen dramatically to deliver consistently steady and strong shopping volume from after Thanksgiving up to five-to-seven days before Christmas."

Atlas anonymously analyzed holiday shopping behavior from November 22, 2004 to January 31, 2005 across 96 leading e-commerce companies whose online campaigns are managed using the Atlas Suite. The study, which is designed to help marketers improve the results of their digital marketing campaigns, included billions of impressions and millions of sale transactions. To read the complete Atlas study, go to: http://atlassolutions.com/institute/.

About Atlas

Atlas (www.AtlasSolutions.com) is a provider of digital marketing technologies and expertise. Atlas offers agencies and marketers integrated solutions for online campaign management, rich media, search marketing, landing page optimization, reporting, and analysis to maximize their online ROI, and provides a highly scalable ad-serving platform to help online publishers increase revenue.

Atlas delivers the industry's most complete service and support, serving its clients from offices in Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Denver, and London. Atlas is an operating unit of aQuantive, Inc (NASDAQ:AQNT) and is a member of the NAI, adhering to the NAI privacy principles that have been applauded by the FTC.

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