What Cyber Monday looks like for a mid-tier retailer – 2013 edition! (Bonus holiday post)

December 5, 2013

ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

One of the most popular series of posts I’ve ever done are some case studies of mid-tier retailers (NOTE: they are all ChannelAdvisor customers).  It all started with a picture of some orders from Cyber Monday that one of our customers, Beadaholique, emailed to me back in 2009.  I was thinking of them with the nice growth we saw this Cyber Monday (2013) and they were kind enough to let me update you all on what’s going on with them.

Mid-tier retailers

What’s fun about these stories (to me at least!)  is they highlight the entrepreneurship that is going on out there in the world of e-commerce that doesn’t make the mainstream press.  At ChannelAdvisor we have over 2000 customers, many are brands you would recognize, but many are also what we call mid-tier retailers.  These are smaller businesses that are growing rapidly, creating jobs and the ‘juice’ behind a lot of growth at eBay and Amazon.

Beadaholique history

Beadaholique is based out of LA and sells beads and accessories for people involved in the craft of beading (creating jewelry, etc.).  They started in 1999.

Here’s the original picture and post from 2009 if you want to go back in time as a reference.

Bead_original

Then I followed up in 2010 here and here’s the stack of orders (ex-FBA):

Bead_2010

Then 2011 and 2012 were so busy I dropped the ball and didn’t update you, so we have skipped a couple years.

Beadaholique 2013

Well here are are in 2013 and here’s what Cyber Monday looked like @Beadaholique:

The Pile2

Seems kind of anticlimatic, doesn’t it -this stack of paper is about the size of the 2010 stack.

But look at this, this shows us the order stack and the packages going out:

The Pile

If you look at the order stack, what you will see is there are 10 bar codes on that order sheet.  In fact, since our last update Beadaholique has updated their warehouse management system (they are using ChannelAdvisor partner Scout)  to add a new level of automation.  One aspect of this is they don’t have to have a piece of paper to pick every order, they now have mobile barcode scanners that the pickers use to grab orders.  So, effectively, to translate the 2013 stack to the 2009/2010 stack, we’d need 10 pages for each one!  It would literally shoot outside of the frame of the photo.

More details on Beadaholique’s Holiday 2013

Another interesting fact, this year, Beadaholique decided to run a Black Friday promotion so Black Friday was actually higher than Cyber Monday.  They have over 60 folks working in the fulfilment facility to handle this surge in holiday orders.  Here’s a good action shot of a folks running through the warehouse filling all these orders. To the right is another station where they are filling orders using the new system.

Racing New System

 

This chart illustrates how the Cyber Five looked for Beadaholique – that first spike was Black Friday (driven by their promotion) and then they had a second spike on Cyber Monday.

Bead_gmv_by_channel_time

 

Finally this chart shows a y/y comparison by day (date aligned):

Beadaholique-BlackFriday-CyberMonday

Beadaholique tells us they are up well over 30% for the holiday period in 2012 compared to 2013.

Conclusions 

I hope you have enjoyed this ‘behind the scenes’ view of what life is like at a mid-tier retailer during the holiday selling season.  I’d like to send a big shout out to  the team @Beadaholique for sharing this information and allowing us to tell their story.

 

Our next holiday post will be December 9th when we look at the first week of December and holiday 2013 YTD.

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