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November 11, 2013

Holiday 2013 Same Store Sales Data Calendar and first week of November Results

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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.

To help our over 2,200 retail/brand customers measure how they are doing for the Holiday, ChannelAdvisor publishes more frequent updates to our Same Store Sales (SSS) in November/December.  

Here is our schedule for Holiday 2013:

  • Monday November 11 - We'll have a look at the first week of November (you are here - results below)
  • Monday, November 18- We’ll have an early read on the second week of November.
  • Monday, November 25- We’ll report an early read on the third week of November and November MTD trends pre-Thanksgiving.
  • Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving) - We’ll share an early read on Thanksgiving Day trends.
  • Friday, November 29 (Black Friday) - We’ll share Thanksgiving Day report as well as an early read on Black Friday.
  • Saturday, November 30 (Cyber Saturday) - We’ll be releasing complete Black Friday details.
  • Sunday, December 1 (Cyber Sunday) - We’ll be sharing Cyber Saturday results.
  • Monday, December 2 (Cyber Monday) - We’ll be releasing Cyber Sunday results and an early read on CyberMonday.
  • Tuesday, December 3- We’ll be reporting complete Cyber Monday and Cyber Five updates.
  • Thursday, December 5- We’ll release complete November SSS results with added color, plus a Holiday update.
  • Monday, December 9 -We’ll take a look at the first week of December and Holiday YTD.
  • Monday, December 16- We’ll check in on the second week of December and Holiday YTD.
  • Monday, December 23- We’ll see how things are looking during the third week of December and for Holiday YTD.
  • Tuesday, January 7- We’ll share December 2013 SSS and Holiday wrap up.

By requests of our customers, this year we're expanding the coverage of a couple of areas of interest:

  • Mobile - We are expanding our coverage of mobile to provide a breakdown of desktop/tablet/phone - including conversion rates for each.  It's important to note that our mobile data is driven by the Search and CSE channels only, not marketplaces.
  • Google Shopping/PLA - Many retailers are investing heavily in Google's program this year and want to track how they are doing vs. their peers. So we will be both including this data in the CSE datapoint and breaking it out individually as 'GS'.

What we've learned from past holidays

Before we jump into the results from week 1, it's important to note some of the trends we've seen in holidays past.  

  • Last year we saw a 'U' shape to the holiday - starting in Thanksgiving and through CyberMonday was the first part of the spike of the 'U' shape. Then Dec 15-22 was the back-end of that 'U' shape.
  • Historically we've seen channels 'spike' in phases.  Usually search/CSE are early indicators and grow first.  People are using these for top-of-the-funnel activities and if they see something they love, they will buy.  As we get into CyberWeek, you see marketplaces kick in - at this point consumers are increasingly transactional (bottom-of-the-funnel).  They know what they want and are converting heavily and using marketplaces to do that.
  • Mobile - Historically retailers put tablet and smartphone into 'mobile'. Google has turned that upside down with Enhanced Campaigns that makes smartphone only = mobile and groups tablets with with desktops.  Last year we saw mobile rates (smartphone+tablet) at 20% and pontificators are saying we'll see as high as 60% this holiday.

November 1-7 SSS early read on Holiday 13

 Here's a report of what we're seeing in our handy Holiday 2013 Dashboard format:

13_nov_wk_1

For comparison purposes, we've included the October SSS which you can see in detail from our monthly post (located here) in the first column.

In the second column you see the y/y per-channel trends for the first week of November.   Here is our analysis on the results:

  • Amazon - At 15.6% for the first week, Amazon decelerated into November from October.  This is not unusual historically.  Consumers are researching and in many times waiting for the deals to start.
  • eBay - With 13.6%, eBay increased a tad from the October run-rate of 12.9% in November.
  • CSE - CSE increased nicely to 17.4% in the first week of November, up from 8.4% indicating that conumers are starting to do their research.
  • GS  - Google Shopping/PLA is up considerably at 96.9% y/y - a massive gain, but remember this program is still ~1yr old so it is being influenced by the SKU-adoption rate.
  • Search - Search increased to 16.6% in the first week of November, a more than 2X acceleration from October and as mentioned indicates a lot of consumers are in research-mode.

The mobile traffic data gives us a baseline to watch as we go into the holiday.

  • Traffic - Smartphone+tablet make up 30% of traffic in the first week of November, with phone at ~18%
  • Conversion Rate (CR) - While tablet's see a bit of a discount CR-wise to desktop, the CR for smartphones is 1/3 the rate of desktop.  
  • Orders - Because of the differences in CR, while Tablet+smartphone=30% of traffic it only equals ~20% of orders.  

It will be interesting to see if these trends hold as we get deeper into Holiday 2013.  Are consumers using their smartphones for research? Will conversion rates increase materially for devices heading into Holiday?

 

The next update will be November 18th and we'll drop in a third column for Nov 8-14 so we can see how November week 2 is developing.

 

 

 

 

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