Holiday 2011 Late December Update – E-Commerce up >23%!!

This is our fourteenth and final update in our Holiday 2011 series. For details on the coverage plan and the seven themes we’ll be looking at, be sure to read this post first.  We’ll be posting a wrap-up to the Holiday in Jan along with the full December monthly SSS.

December 21, 2011 Holiday Tracker

Here’s an updated Holiday Tracker for you.  The new data is in yellow and we’ve updated two timeframes:

  1. Holiday YTD – This tracks Thanksgiving-12/21 2010 vs. 2011 (with the same number of days in each).  This datapoint gives us a read on how the Holiday is trending overall.
  2. December MTD – 12/1/10 – 12/21/10 compared to 12/1/11 – 12/21/11 – This data shows us how the back part of the holiday is trending.

You may want to pull up the 12/15 data to see the trends.



Analysis of the 12/21 Update

The data is pretty self-explanatory, but here are some of our observations and we’d love to hear yours in comments:

  • We now have enough data to conclude that Holiday 2011 came in at 23.7% for our customers vs. 2010/2009’s 16% – an increase in absolute terms of 7.7% – a more than 48% acceleration comparatively. Once the US Commerce data comes out, it will be interesting to see if these gains were macro-economic in nature or at the expense of offline retail – in the form of higher online penetration of overall retail sales.  I suspect we’ll now be at 10% penetration and stay there from 2012 forward.
  • Amazon is the clear winner, consistently coming in > 50% growth – a solid 2X of the e-commerce growth rate which indicates they are continuing their share gains.
  • Search slowing – As we get into December, search is down from the mid twenties to the ~20% growth rate.  This is natural as a big chunk of search is research oriented and consumers are clearly more transactional from 12/1 on.
  • EU concerns haven’t materialized– While we haven’t broken it out here, we do follow the EU data closely and haven’t seen any signs of a bad holiday there amongst our channels/customers.
  • eBay back-end loaded – We saw eBay picking up as we went through December — climbing from the 12% CyberFive range to >20% growth here in December.  Looking at the components over the holiday we saw: FP: 28.1%, auction: -20% and autos (parts): 49%.  As FP increases in percentage, that should bode well for eBay achieving greater than e-commerce growth rates in 2012.  Also, note that P+A continues its unusual Q4 growth rate which we attribute to the warmer than usual weather.
  • CSEs hanging in there – Given the tough 2011, anything above zero growth for CSEs is a positive and we’re hanging in there.  Like search, CSEs tend to be heavy on research and lighter on transactional activity so there is a slowdown from the CyberFive 4% growth to the December 0% (flat).


Happy Holidays

This is our last post of 2011 and I wanted to thank all of ChannelAdvisor’s customers, team members and partners for a great year.  Also thanks to our readers for your awesome engagement in retweets, likes, comments, etc.

Everyone have a great holiday and (fingers crossed) an even bigger e-commerce 2012.

SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long google and amazon. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO.