Gift buying starts early for e-commerce: Holiday 2014 SSS Wk3

November 24, 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.

 

Today we are releasing the results for the third week (7 day period) of November 2014 (15-21):

holiday_14_nov_wk3_dashboard

Analysis

This week was interesting as we saw strong gains from November week 2 across most channels.  This amount of acceleration is unusual this early in November and indicates that consumers are shopping earlier this year than past years.  It’s important to note that many e-commerce channels and retailers are running ‘early Black Friday” sales so it is impossible to know the root cause of the gains (change in consumer behavior, or reaction to early Black Friday sales).

To illustrate this trend, we’ll look at the Week 2 -> Week 3 2014 vs. 2013 changes and then later in the report we’ll look back to last year’s results so we can see the 2013->2012 vs. 2014->2013 macro holiday trends.  In the table above, we have also included November MTD which looks at how the three weeks add up.

A couple of interesting trends of note in week three’s data:

  • Amazon – accelerated from  36.3% in week 2 to 46.8% in Week 3.  While only a week in comparison, this is one of the largest y/y gains we have seen from Amazon since 2012.
  • eBay – increased from 10.3% in week 2 to 12.4% in November week 3.  While only one week, it’s great to see positive movement here as we ramp into Thanksgiving.
  • CSE – increased from 6.9% in week 2 to 10.9% in week 3.
  • Google Shopping/PLA -increased from 17.4% in week 2 to 19.8% in week 3.
  • Search – increased from 6.6% in week 2 to 19.1% in week 3.
  • Other 3PM – decreased from 41.5% in week 2 to 25.4% in week 3.

On the device side, there were minor movements in the traffic % and order %.  Most significant was the up-tick in conversion rates across all device types except phone which is a signal that consumers are pulling out their wallets and buying more aggressively in week 3.  Last year we didn’t see mobile/desktop trends move much until Thanksgiving day.

 

Week Three ‘three year’ view.

To illustrate how unusual an acceleration this is for the third week of November, we have compared the growth rates from the same period last year, which compared 2012 vs. 2013.  In this example below, the red bars show the three 2014 weeks of November compared to last year’s blue bars.  Here you can see the up-trend this year whereas last year there was actually a little dip in the third week.

 

h14_wk3_amzn

This next one shows that while last year eBay was growing faster (blue bars), the growth rate in week 1 and 3 were similar.  Now looking at the 2014 trend (red) you can see much more of a ramp into Week 3.

h14_wk3_ebay

The one channel that did not exhibit this trend was Google Shopping.  At this time last year, Google Shopping was enjoying a near 100% growth rate as it was still ramping up the number of retailers in different geos and coverage (SKUs available in the program).

h14_wk3_gs

Next Update

Week 3  showed us an unusual acceleration early in the holiday. Our next update will come on Thanksgiving day (November 27th) .

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.