Changes coming to ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) data…

June 8, 2010

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Background

We first started releasing same-store-sales (SSS) at the requests of our customers.  Retailers are always interested to know how they are doing against their peers (also known as benchmarking) so we started releasing the information as a resource for them.  Along the way, we grew the GMV that goes through ChannelAdvisor to over $3b and have over 3000 customers.  As we gained scale, analysts on Wall St. have become very interested in the data as a directional view of how e-commerce companies are doing (a view we don’t necessarily believe in – see disclaimers).

Because of this additional focus on the SSS data, we wanted to add a little more structure to the data and how/when we disseminate it that we are rolling out today.

SSS Changes

  • SSS will be published after 5pm on 5th business day after end of month
  • We are making sure that the disclaimers on the data are clear and repeated with every SSS publication.
  • We are going to eliminate the data point that we previously called ‘ChannelAdvisor’.  Customers don’t see value from that metric and prefer to see the individual channels.  The ChannelAdvisor number is highly influenced by our channel mix that is primarily driven by our product feature and sales efforts and not necessarily an indication of broader market moves.
  • Starting next month we are going to add both search and comparison shopping engines (CSE) to the data and will report on those channels going forward

 

2010 Schedule

  • June 8
  • July 7
  • August 6
  • September 7
  • October 7
  • November 9
  • December 7
  • Increased frequency for the holiday period TBA

 

Disclaimer

ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) are reported as a benchmark data point for ChannelAdvisor’s internet retailer customers.  The SSS data is not a position or forecast of any e-commerce activity, but the real transactional data captured by ChannelAdvisor across over 3000 retailers and $3b of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV).  There are many reasons this data is not a proxy for overall e-commerce activity including, but not limited to:

  • Customer variance – ChannelAdvisor’s customers may not be representative of the overall customer mix of any individual channel.  For example, on eBay, our customers are skewed towards the largest eBay customer set, not the average.
  • Category variance – ChannelAdvisor is over-indexed in some categories (electronics, sporting goods and auto parts) and under-indexed in others (collectibles, BMV/media, etc.)  For example, on Amazon, ChannelAdvisor has very few media customers so we have no visibility into that large chunk of the business.
  • Cross Border Trade variance – While ChannelAdvisor does have a fair amount of non-domestic GMV (>25%), our mix and currency exposure is vastly different than other e-commerce players.
  • Software Impact – At the end of the day, we are a software company. Some of our features cause a short-term bump in sales that may skew results high a the beginning and then lower at the end of a one year SSS cycle.
  • Channel impact – Certain changes at e-commerce channels may cause more good or harm to our customer base, category mix, international mix and software.  While the data shows these changes, because we are not a material part of every channel, over 90% of that channel’s business may not have the same impact (positive or negative).

 

SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long Google and Amazon, eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.