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Spikes & Dips January 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 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


Performance- January

January 2016 saw a downward trend in products listed across categories in the USA. This was in contrast to December 2015, which suggests that the festive sheen had weaned off. A nationwide decrease in SKUs from December to January was detected.

The highest share of catalogue movement belonged to:


1. Amazon

2. Newegg

3. Overstock

4. Sears

5. Walmart



Performance- January

The combined catalogue of these 5 players stood at a solid 65% of the total catalogue of all North American retailers who sell online.

Although the American catalogue as a whole saw a drop in number of products, new ones were added across categories. We noted categories where most SKUs were added.


Performance- January

Fashion, Home & Décor, and Electronics together constituted 85% of newly added products.

Average Price & Discount

We studied the price movements in January 2016 vis a vis December 2015 to understand the pricing changes in various verticals. This chart reflects the average price changes in the month of January.



Performance- January


While December lived up to its reputation for bargain deals and discounts, ticket prices in January shot up. All major categories witnessed this price increase. The average price increase across the total combined catalogue was as high as 77% MoM. Beauty & care witnessed the highest jump MoM. The price jump across other categories varied in the range 35%-85%.


What is Trending?




Performance- January

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

Compared to December, all broad categories except electronics witnessed a declining trend. The following chart highlights key retailers who experienced a declining trend of more than 50%.


Performance- January

Insights by Player: Amazon vs. Walmart


Performance- January

This chart compares the change in average price between December and January for Amazon and Walmart.

The overall change in the average price across Fashion, Home & Décor, Electronics, Beauty & Care and Food & Grocery is positive in case of Walmart. Although this change is not much and merely stands at 1%, the same in case of Amazon is reasonably less at -7%. The category Home & Décor witnessed a positive price change in case of both Amazon and Walmart whereas Beauty & Care witnessed a negative change.

We compared catalogues of both players in detail to understand how different categories were affected.


Performance- January

The above chart indicates that the overall change in average price on Walmart was significantly higher than that on Amazon. In case of Walmart, the categories Office & Stationary and Food & Grocery attributed to the positive change in average price. The categories Beauty & Care witnessed an average ~18% fall on both Walmart and Amazon.


Activity decreased significantly in January. This was expected, as the holiday season came to an end with the beginning of the New Year. The January Spikes & Dips Series built upon the movements we saw in December, as retailers started moving toward the catalogues for the new season.

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