Spikes & Dips April 2016: State of E-commerce in the US

What is our Spikes & Dips Series?

Intelligence Node’s Spikes & Dips series tracks the retail price change of a basket of products spread across online retailers using our real-time retail analytics software. ‘Spikes & Dips’ covers the top 1000+ leading North American e-commerce retailers and is continuously monitored by proprietary market-monitoring algorithms. Intelligence Node’s algorithm processes approximately 750mn products daily and are taken from real-time, live data. All benchmark indexes are tracked in real-time, however, updates will be published in our monthly State of E-commerce newsletter.

The goal of our Spikes and Dips series is to put online retail price movements in the context of macroeconomic factors thus enabling retailers to understand how these macroeconomic factors influence their day-to-day retail pricing strategies.

Number of Products

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The trend of increasing assortment continued in April, with the number of products listed online rising by 56% across the main categories MoM. The Home Décor category continued to be bullish in April as well, with product listings increasing by 70%. The Fashion category remained unchanged from the previous month, but Electronics and Beauty & Care saw a decline of 7% and 10% respectively. Food & Grocery was the only category which saw a decline by 3% MoM.

Amazon regained top spot with the share of product listings of the entire US catalog going up to nearly one fourth of the combined catalog.

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Categories where most SKUs were added.

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85% of the total US catalog was listed under the categories Home & Décor, Fashion and Electronics. The share of Fashion and Home & Decor remained nearly unchanged in April as well. The electronics category went down from 24% share in March to 19% share in April.

Average Price & Discount

We studied the price movements in April 2016 vis a vis March 2016 to understand pricing changes in various verticals. This chart reflects the average price changes in April 2016.

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The Home & Décor category saw not only an increase in the maximum products listed (30%) in April but also, the maximum increase in the average price MoM. Fashion witnessed the second highest increase in the average price MoM. The increase in average prices in Electronics and Beauty & Care in April (compared to March) was nearly unchanged from those in March (compared to Feb).

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We studied the retailers who witnessed a rise in average prices. The table shows % change in prices by various retailers across categories.

What is Trending?

We looked at various price, discount and catalog movements to discover trends for various categories

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Stability was observed as most categories did not show a change in trend. Fashion was the only category witnessing a 6% decline in April MoM. The change in trend movement was not very aggressive in April (compared to March) as compared to the change in March (compared to Feb). Home & Décor saw the highest increase in trend movement MoM.

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Insights by Player: Amazon vs. Walmart

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Prices across all categories, including major ones, were competitive in April MoM. Electronics and Beauty & Care were the categories in which Amazon witnessed an increase in April MoM. Walmart, however, increased average price across the rest of the major categories.

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All the categories saw an increase in average prices MoM. Walmart managed to keep pace with this increase whereas Amazon may have lagged behind.

Conclusion

The activity in April continued on the same trajectory as March. This demonstrates the growing stability in retail catalogs. Retailer focus was on replenishing stocks as well as implementing newer acquisition strategies. The April Spikes & Dips Series built upon the movements we saw in March, as retailers started focusing on promoting new catalogs.