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INdex December 2015: State of E-commerce in the US

What is our INdex Series?

Intelligence Node’s INdex series tracks the retail price change of a basket of products spread across online retailers using our real-time retail analytics software.

The INdex covers the top 1000+ leading e-commerce retailers and is continuously monitored by proprietary market-monitoring algorithms. Intelligence Node’s INdex algorithm processes approximately 750mm 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 INdex 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



December 2015 saw an increase for many categories, including Home & Decor, Electronics, Beauty & Care, and Fashion, which surged after a down month in November. Fashion also become the leading category listing, accounting for roughly 34% of the total number of products listed across the categories during the month of December. The increases in Fashion and many of the other categories can be attributed to the holiday season.

The only down category in December was Food & Grocery; however, this could be expected as the category added the maximum number of products in November.

Average Pricing and Discount



This chart reflects the percent average price changes per category during the month of December. Pricing movement was quite variable across categories, with Beauty & Care, Fashion, and Home & Decor all experiencing discounts, while Electronics and Food & Grocery saw somewhat substantial increases during the month.

Electronics witnessed both an increase in average price and catalogue size, listing 17% of the total catalogue in December, and accounting for the highest average price during the month as well.

Fashion witnessed a slight decline in average price, which can be attributed to the addition of more products from the lower price brackets throughout the month.

What is Trending?



Electronics experienced tremendous growth in December, mostly due to Best Buy’s trending index of 0.7. Conversely, Home & Decor witnessed the the most sluggish growth because market leaders like Newsegg and Sears contributed very little, with a trending index of 0.2 and 0.3 respectively.

Insights by Player



The above chart highlights movement by two of the largest retailers, Amazon and Walmart, in the month of December. For the most part, Amazon was more aggressive than Walmart, increasing it’s price across most categories, with Electronics and Fashion being the two exceptions. Within the Electronics category, Amazon’s decline in average price was somewhat significant at roughly a -15% change; however, it was not quite as significant as their decline in the previous month. The decline in both November and December can be attributed to the listing of more low-priced products for the holiday season.

Conversely, Amazon took advantage of the high demand for Home & Decor and Food & Grocery during the same period and increased their prices somewhat shrewdly. Although Walmart also saw price increases in these categories, it was much less significant than Amazon.


Retailers were busy in December, with quite a bit of activity in both pricing and catalogue movements. This could be expected; however, as the holiday season often drives movement as retailers try to capitalize on trends and changes in supply and demand. The December INdex series built upon the movements we saw in November, as retailers across many categories attempted to boost sales during this time.

Intelligence Node can provide highly targeted insights – including SKU based analytics – to help you monitor your competition in real time. Request a free demo and learn how to harness the true power of retail analytics to drive business success.