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Spikes & Dips February 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 goa 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


February 2016 saw an overall downward trend. This is a continuing trend from January spread across all major verticals. All retailers seem to have anticipated further drop in demand from the US population.

Home & Décor and Beauty & Care verticals showed a maximum down trend. The other major categories were running at a declined rate bet 2 to 4% compared to January. The highest share of catalog movement belonged to Amazon, with a 19% of the entire US catalog listed on it.


Although, the American catalog as a whole saw a drop in number of products, new ones were added across categories.


Most products were added to the Fashion category, which stood at over one third of the entire American catalog. It’s obvious that retailers are counting on Fashion the most for their sales revenue.

Fashion was followed by Home & Décor and Electronics on the 2nd and 3rd position with 27% and 24% fresh stock density respectively. Fashion, Home & Décor, Electronics and Beauty & Care together contributed to over 90% of the total catalog.

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 February.


Average prices continued rising in February 2016. While the Fashion category contributed the maximum number of products in February, its average price declined significantly by 4% MoM. Fashion products from the lower price ranges were added to the catalog. This is perhaps an attempt to entice customers into loosening their purse strings after a period of heavy spending over Christmas and New Year. Home Décor saw an increase of 12% MoM, the maximum across all categories.


The above table shows the % 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.


Like January, February too witnessed a declining trend MoM.


The above table highlights retailers that witnessed a positive MoM trend even though the overall trend was negative. At 61%, visibility was found to be highest on Torrid for the Fashion category.


Insights By Player: Amazon Vs. Walmart


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

Average prices across all the major categories grew on Walmart MoM.  Amazon however, witnessed a price decline across the Fashion and Food & Grocery categories.

The overall increase in average prices across the 4 major categories on Walmart was nearly double than that on Amazon.

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


February witnessed an overall MoM increase in average prices across all the categories for both Amazon and Walmart.

The overall increase in average prices across the 5 major categories on Walmart was nearly double of Amazon.

However, Amazon’s average MoM prices were significantly higher than Walmart for Books & Media, Car Listings and Office & Stationery.


Activity continued to decrease in February. This was expected, as retailer focus shifted to strategizing for and adapting to the new trends after the holiday season. The February Spikes & Dips Series built upon the movements we saw in January, as retailers actively started focusing on catalogs for the new season.

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