Valentine's Day online sales peaked Feb. 6: Oneupweb

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People do most of their Valentine's Day gift shopping from work Mondays and Tuesdays, according to interactive agency Oneupweb. From Feb. 1 to Feb. 12, the agency tracked the behavior of thousands of consumers online, following them across a range of online retail clients who were selling Valentine's Day gifts.

The study found that online Valentine's Daysales peaked Tuesday, Feb. 6, while online traffic to Web sites was highest Monday, Feb. 12.

See the full graph here.

" For direct marketers, the primary takeaway is the timing," said Lisa Wehr, president of Oneupweb, Leelanau, MI. "If you're shipping Valentine's Day gifts, your pay-per-click bid strategies should consider the Feb. 6 sales peak.

"And don't think because you're an e-commerce company that you can ignore natural search optimization," she said. "The data speaks to the power of natural or free listings providing more traffic and sales."

Oneupweb reviewed data covering the online search behavior of more than 250,000 unique visitors across a variety of retail Web sites that sell Valentine's Day apparel, gifts, jewelry and flowers. In the study, traffic figures counted the number of visitors to a site once, using cookie technology to recognize repeat visitors.

Most consumers do their Valentine's Day shopping at work. Ms. Wehr said shoppers may be taking advantage of the faster office broadband connection or trying to keep their purchases a secret.

"A nticipate holiday seasons early enough to optimize [your] Web site in time," Ms. Wehr said. "Make sure that your bid strategies follow the peaks - you don't want to be paying for keywords when you can't ship the item in time. Additionally, you don't want to miss out on sales on Feb. 6 by being at the bottom of the list."

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