Consumers and Merchants Had a Cautious Holiday Season

When you look at overall Holiday 2014 sales season, you see it came in like a lion and out like a lamb. In this video, ChannelAdvisor founder and CEO Scot Wingo talks about why ecommerce sales grew year-over-year, despite a last-minute binge in sales.

“In our industry, we added [carrier] capacity and whatnot, and everyone was kind of cautious in the back end,” Wingo said. “Retailers did move up their last ship dates, some of them more aggressively than others.”

Anecdotally, Wingo said he talked with consumers who said they were concerned about 2013 holiday season issues that kept last-minute deals from getting to their doorsteps. That caused a shift in consumer behavior as well, as shoppers started buying earlier in the 2014 holiday season.

Wingo also talks about the emergence of third-party marketplaces non-names Amazon and eBay, which saw sales surge this holiday season. Many of them, such as Sears, Best Buy and Walmart, have an omnichannel advantage that Amazon and eBay do not, while digital sellers Rakuten and Newegg have marketplace sales that are doing very well.

“You think about all the negative press around Sears, and a lot of that has been demonstrated by offline,” Wingo said. “But its online sales are doing well, and its marketplace sales are doing quite well. It’s growing around 30% when, overall, ecommerce grew at around 16%.”

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