20.6% Growth for the Cyber Five; Cyber Monday Finishes at 16.7%

December 2, 2014

ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

Note: This is a regular feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2014 schedule can be found here.

 

Cyber monday logo

Today we are releasing our FINAL Cyber Monday and Cyber Five data.  The following Cyber Five table summarizes where we are in the key holiday days so far (date aligned to last year):

cyber_monday_final

 

Cyber Monday – Highlights

The first set of new data is the final data for Cyber Monday in the fifth column.

Cyber Monday came in at 16.7%, up from our early reads (noon and 5pm) through the day that were in the 13-15% range.  The reason why is illustrated here:

cyber_monday_shape

This chart shows the GMV/hr trends we see (ET scale) at ChannelAdvisor.  You can see from 6pm-midnight was the peak activity for the day.  In fact the day was so back-end loaded we may see some bleed over to Tuesday 12/2 as some systems at marketplace partners were showing some latency with processing payments and fraud checks (nothing serious that will delay deliveries, but 2-3hrs there can slosh a lot of sales into the next day).

Over the last five years, it has been interesting to watch this change.  The peak period used to be 12-1 and 5-6pm ET because Cyber Monday meant “use my broadband at work to shop online.” Now it has changed to be “Take advantage of Cyber Monday discounts and promotions to shop online.”

Some channel-specific observations:

  • Leaders – “Other 3PMs” led the pack with 60.3% y/y growth for Cyber Monday.  Led by Omnichannel companies, these marketplaces hit the Cyber Monday promotions hard and benefited from that activity. eBay also finished Cyber Monday very strong at 32.3%.  Perhaps because of the early start, we are seeing an unusual amount of ‘stock outs’ for everything from hot toys (Paw Patrol, Minecraft, Frozen, etc.) to hot electronics (Go Pro, iAnything), which plays to eBay’s strengths.
  • In-line – For Cyber Monday, both Amazon (13.7%) and Google Adwords/Bing aka Search (13.9%) came in in-line.  As you will see in the Cyber Five total category, Amazon did very well this holiday overall, so I don’t think there’s any reason for concern that Cyber Monday was sluggish – Amazon pulled those sales in early.  On the search side, I do think Google has a challenge that Google Shopping (persistently laggard this holiday vs. last year) has hit a wall from a user experience perspective so more and more consumers had to resort to traditional adwords to find what they were looking for.  This is the opposite of how the system is supposed to work and something Google needs to address if they want to continue to be relevant with shoppers.
  • Laggards – Google Shopping was down 3.3% y/y and CSE was down 13.2% y/y.  As mentioned, these channels struggle meeting consumer expectations to find the right product with the best Cyber Monday promotion that is in-stock.

Cyber Five –  Highlights

Next, we have summarized the Cyber Five first five days of Holiday 14 kick off in the far right column.  The Cyber Five came in at a robust 20.6%, exceeding the 16% forecast from comScore.  While we won’t know until ~12/23 if everything is shifted forward or we are going to see a persistent ~20% growth.  That being said, when you look at the Cyber Five trends, you do see a shift forward.  For example, Cyber Saturday was the biggest gainer because online retailers pushed their Cyber Monday promotions earlier than past years.

Some channel specific observations:

  • Leaders – Other 3PM (54.4% y/y) and Amazon (23.8%) ‘won’ the Cyber Five period coming in well above the 20.6% total.  Other 3PM saw very strong Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.  Interestingly, Amazon’s top growth day was Cyber Saturday when they launched their Cyber Monday offers early.  Finally, leading into the Holiday, eBay was significantly lagging the e-commerce growth rate, so expectations were low.  eBay’s Cyber Five 20.5% showing stands out because they exceeded expectations.
  • In-line – Search came in at 19.1%, essentially in-line with the 20.6% total.  This is a strong showing for Search and a bit unusual because through the year Google Shopping / PLA has been where the ‘Google growth’ has been.
  • Laggard – Google Shopping finished up 5.8% due to the consumer experience challenges mentioned above.  Finally, CSE, which is also user experience challenged, finished at down 1.2%.

Up next…

On December 8th, we’ll have complete November results to get a broader picture of how the holiday is going.

 

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO