Holiday 14 Update December week 3 – another slow week.

December 22, 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 Third Week of December Update

Today we are releasing new SSS data through the third week of December (12/21/14).  The updated Holiday 2014 Dashboard below has five 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->third 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.  The fourth column is the December Week 2 data previously released for reference.  Finally, the fifth column shows the y/y trend for the third week of December.

hol14_wk3_dashboard

If you look at the Total SSS y/y line, you’ll notice that SSS growth for our customers for Holiday 14 was 14.1% as of week 3 which is a bit below the comScore forecast of 16%.

Channel Observations

  • The Holiday YTD winners are ‘Other 3PM’ and Amazon.
  • Week 3’s winner was Google Shopping which had its best showing since Thanksgiving and Cyber Saturday at 19.5% y/y growth .
  • Week 3 saw ‘Other 3PM’ slow to 4.4%, driven by those channels having pretty conservative shipping cut-off deadlines.
  • eBay also came in at 3.9% in Week 3 – a bit more robust than Week 2, but still relatively slow compared to other channels.
  • CSE had its strongest showing  of the holidays in Week 3.

What this tells us is that consumers continue to shop at Amazon because they are confident in their ability to ship products until the last day.  Also, consumers are hitting GS/CSE at the end to find that hard to find item and compare prices.

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 expected, conversion rates in Week 3 declined a bit to 4.19% indicating the end of the holiday buying cycle.

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 3):

 

hol14_wk3_shape

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).

Last year we had a U shape with that ‘procrastinator pop’ in week 3.  This year we have not seen that same behavior. Buyers definitely started earlier and ‘finished’ earlier this year.  Two drivers of this are:

1. Retailers pushed their best promotions in Nov Week 2-Cyber Five

2. Negative PR about late shipments last year – Buyers were also driven to shop earlier this year and not wait to the last minute because of the highly publicized problems last year.

Up next…

This post concludes our Holiday 14 coverage.  Our next post will be our regular monthly SSS post in early January when we cover the December results.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO