ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

Holiday 2015: Same Store Sales – First Week of November Results

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 the 2015 schedule can be found in this post.  

Welcome to our first post of Holiday 2015! Before we jump in, I want to highlight that there are now three forecasts out for this Holiday:

  • NRF/shop.org is forecasting digital sales y/y growth of 8%
  • Forrester is forecasting e-commerce growth of 11%
  • Finally, comScore has been forecasting 2015 growth of 15% and that includes holiday.

Since comScore and the US dept of commerce largely agree that so far in 2015 e-commerce has been growing 15%, we’ll use that baseline.  That being said there’s a big swing between these three forecasts so it will be interesting to see who was ‘right’ when the dust settles.

Today we are releasing the results for the first week (7 day period) of November 2015 (1-7): (click to enlarge)

holiday_sss_nov_wk1_dashboard

 

There are three columns in the report:

  1. 2014 Device Baseline – This column provides Nov 1-7 2014 device data for comparative purposes so you can see y/y trends of this data.
  2. Oct SSS – This column provides the 2015 October Same Store Sales with device data, also for comparative purposes.  You can find our detailed analysis on October here.
  3. Nov 1-7 2014 vs. 2015 – This is the new data provided today which shows how the first week of November 2015 compares to the same period a year ago.

Here is our analysis on the results:

  • Amazon – Amazon slowed a bit compared to October’s results  coming in at 14.9% y/y growth compared to October’s 16.4%
  • eBay – eBay decreased from 3.0% in October to 2.3% in November week 1
  • CSE – CSE decreased to 1.1% in week one down from 11.2% in October
  • GS  – Google Shopping/PLA decreased to 21.8% compared to October’s 31.6%
  • Search – Search decreased coming in at -22.1% vs. October’s -7.4%
  • Other 3PM – Other 3PM increased from 25.3% in October to 30% in November week 1

It’s important to note that SSS data can vary quite a bit when looking at short durations.  That being said, Other 3PM, Amazon and Google Shopping/PLA were the three e-commerce channels that grew at or above the 15% benchmark level.

Device trends

A couple of interesting trends of note in the device data:

  • Mobile (Phone+Tablet) traffic has been over 50% for the majority of 2015, October 2015 and Nov 1-7 2015 period (58%).  Compare that to last year’s data where mobile was at 40% and you can see the dramatic growth in mobile traffic.
  • The Phone conversion rate (CR) has increased since 2014 from 1% to 1.2%. While this is a 20% move, it is still only 1/3 the CR of desktop.
  • Desktop CR saw a nice move from 2.9% last year to 3.5% this year.

Given those trends, it is interesting that mobile orders are 36% of transactions which is up from 25% last year, but still well below 50% where traffic is due to the lower mobile conversion rate.  That growth has come at the expense of desktop which is down from 75% of orders last year to 64%.

Conclusion and Next Update

The first week of November was a bit slow.  Looking at last years promotions, retailers in 2015 appear to be waiting a little longer to flex their promotional muscles.  For example, last year on 11/1/14, Amazon launched a month of Black Friday deals that were quite aggressive.  This year, they are doing a very light promotion:

amazon_black-fri

These first couple weeks of November will give us a baseline as we ramp into the official kick-off of the Holiday, which is Thanksgiving here in the US (November 26th this year).

The next update will be November 16th when we look at the results from the second week of November (8-14).

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, Executive Chairman and Founder, ChannelAdvisor.

 

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