The 'Holiday Effect' on Online Businesses

Posted by David The Expert on: Sunday, April 8, 2012
Topic: Business     Read 14,060 Times

Web traffic always seems to drop off significantly on major holidays.

   Business on the internet never stops. We're open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Unless of course the server shuts down, but that's an entirely different story. Brick and mortar businesses have a different conundrum entirely. Employees want to be home with their families, and so do customers. Many businesses shut down completely on holidays. But with most automated internet businesses, that's simply not necessary.

   Today is Easter Sunday, and I've noticed a significant trend while monitoring the traffic on my social network startup, Fireviews. Traffic always drops off on holidays. Whether it's a big religious holiday like Easter or Christmas, or just a federal holiday like Labor Day or Memorial Day, traffic always takes a dive on holidays.

The up-swing

   There's a plus side to this sudden drop in traffic, though. And that is that the traffic almost always resumes its normal pace the next day. Often, it even shows a significant increase the day after a holiday. This of course depends on other factors like the day of the week and what kind of marketing campaigns I'm working on. But in general, controlling for other factors like those, I've noticed that the day after a holiday shows a major uptick in traffic that balances out the major dip during the holiday.

   It's not a bad thing that business dissipates during holidays, though. I imagine that people are spending the time with their families and having fun, rather than messing around with Fireviews all day on the internet.

So what are we supposed to do during the holidays?

   As a business owner, it's tough to see any drop in traffic or customers. It's tempting to create new holiday-themed promotions to try to draw back some of that holiday traffic. But in my opinion, it's really not necessary. Sometimes people need a break from the internet and from advertising. Certain businesses, like retail outlets, may find it beneficial to offer discounts on holidays, but that's only useful when they have specific products that can be holiday-themed. For example, a candy reseller can easily promote Easter candy during Easter, and a clothing outlet could promote festive sweaters during Christmas. But for most online startups (social networks like Fireviews, or music services, or cloud tools, etc.), we just have to grin and bear it. We may experience a slight drop today, but rest assured that tomorrow will restore the balance of business.

David The Expert

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