Holiday 14 Update December week 2 – a slow week.

December 16, 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.

 

Holiday 2014 Second Week of December Update

Today we are releasing new SSS data through the second week of December (12/14/14).  The updated Holiday 2014 Dashboard below has four columns that summarize the data.  The first column in this table is a recap of the Cyber Five.  The second column is Holiday YTD where we track how the holiday is trending from Thanksgiving->second week of December (note this is offset by one day to line up with last year).  The third column is the December Week 1 data previously released for reference.  Finally, the fourth column shows the y/y trend for the second week of December.

hol14_wk2_dboard

If you look at the Total SSS y/y line, you’ll notice that SSS growth for our customers for Holiday 14 was 12.9% as of week 2.  This is a decrease from last week’s 16% due to December week 2 coming in at 8% y/y for our customers.  As we’ll show below this was a similar trend to what we saw last year.

Channel Observations

  • 3PM led in both December Week 2 and continues to lead for Holiday YTD.
  • Amazon grew the second fastest behind 3PM for both periods as well.
  • eBay is growing 9.7% so far this holiday and declined from last week’s measure due to December week 2’s 1.9% y/y growth rate.
  • Search and Google Search were neck and neck at 8.7% and 6.3% for Holiday YTD.
  • Finally, CSE was last coming in down 5% y/y for both Holiday YTD and the second week of December.

Device Observations

Device trends have been very steady.  Thanksgiving was the top mobile day at 49% of traffic. Since then we have seen mobile in the 41-45% range.  As the holiday marches on, we expect to see conversion rates on all devices decline a bit as consumers are more selective, and looking for the best offers and comparing many merchants. You can see this in the December week 2 data which has the lowest conversion rates we’ve recorded for the Holiday period.

 

Holiday  Trends

At this point in the holiday it’s interesting to take a step back and see where we are and the trends we have seen.  I call this the ‘shape’ of the holiday. By looking at the y/y growth rates of different periods, we can get a feel for how this holiday is ‘acting’ vs. previous holidays.   Here is how the shape of this year compares to last year for the same period (November week 1 through December week 2):

hol14_wk2_shape1

 

The blue line is Holiday 2013 (growth rate of 13 over 12) and the red line is Holiday 2014 (growth rate of 14 over 13).  Here you can see that the holiday has clearly shifted ‘earlier’ with consumers shopping much more in the first three weeks of November vs. 2013 (where you can see the Peak was later in December week 1).

Finally, here’s what 2013 looked like when we extend the chart out through the end of the holiday (third week of December):

hol14_wk2_shape2

This is what I call the U shaped holiday.  That jump back up at the end of the holiday is what I like to call the procrastinator pop.  This spike is what caught the carriers by surprise last year, and we’ll be watching closely to see if we repeat the procrastinator pop this year.  Here in week 2 of December, we are not seeing the procrastinator pop, yet, but last year it didn’t come until week 3 and so we have 7 more days to see if it happens.

Up next…

Our next holiday post will be on 12/22 where we look at late December.  That will be our last post of 2014 and on January 7th, 2015 we will cover December 2014 SSS.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO