A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. Episode 4 covers a recap of the Cyber 5 results online and in-store, including the shift to mobile, top products, site outages, and why you might not want to take holiday recaps too seriously. We also discuss Yahoo’s latest move to stop ad blockers, and news from Amazon including a drone update and augmented reality patents.
Based on Channel Advisor Same Store Sales data, onlines sales for the Cyber-5 (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) showed strong growth of better than 20% year over year. CyberMonday is growthing the slowest as the other 4 days catch up, with the fastest growth coming from Thanksgiving which grew 46% y/y.
Mobile (which does not include tablets) was over 49% of US traffic and 27% of orders, which represents 100% growth over the previous year. Channel Advisor mobile data was directionally consistent with data from IBM and Adobe, when you adjust for the fact that IBM and Adobe include Tablets in their mobile numbers. Walmart reported their own cyber-5 results data, with over 70% of their traffic coming from mobile devices, and almost 50% of their sales.
While traffic is clearly shifting to mobile, and many retailers have already had their mobile moment (when more than half their traffic shifts to mobile), there is still a signficiant mobile gap as shoppers make far less often from their smartphones. Friction in the checkout process being a primary driver. Digital wallets could be part of the solution but they are currently much more robust in China than they are in North America.
FiveThirtyEight reminds us that most of the reported holiday results reported during the weekend or immediately afterwards are pretty useless. A sentament strongly shared by Barry Ritholtz in his Washington Post editorial.
There were some indications that retailers that stayed closed on Thanksgiving (and Black Friday) did disproportionately well online.
Hoverboards may be the breakout hot toy of the year, and as NPR highlight they are mostly unbranded. Game consoles, Apple Products, 4K TV’s, the Amazon Echo, and anyting with Star Wars on it were the big winners this holiday season. Yet according to Adobe, 13% of all product views on Cyber Monday were for products that were already out of stock.
A number of well known sites had outages over the weekend including Neiman Marcus and Best Buy Canada. Target was reported to have crashed Monday during their aggresive 15% off promotion, but disputed the report claiming they intentionally throttled traffic (which is arguable worse, becasue it means they made a business decision not to have enough capacity to serve all their CyberMonday guests). Several vendors including PayPal and Avalara also had problems, which underscores the need for retailers to know what all their Single Points of Failure (SPOFs) are, and what to do when they become unavailable at critical times.
In the latest move in the consumers battle to avoid unwanted advertisements, Yahoo turned off access to Yahoo Mail for users who are using ad blocking technology. It doesn’t seem like a good business model when consumers are actively avoiding your only monitization strategy. We also discuss the problems for e-commerce sites that Apples new iOS ad blocking technology has created.
Finally, if the wait until December 18 for the Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens is too much for you. Scot recommends you download the Star Wars mobile app which include 3D Google Cardboard content, and buy yourself a ViewMaster (fancy plastic version of Google Cardboard).
Episode 4 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Wed December 2nd, 2015.