EP154 - Turkey-5 2018 Recap
Episode 154 is a quick recap of all the retail and e-commerce activity over the Turkey-5 weekend (Thanksgiving through CyberMonday).
Jason interviewed by eMarketer about AmazonGo stores
Jason article in Forbes "The Future of Brick-And-Mortar Retail is Mobile"
Amazon Cyber-5 Press Release
Salesforce Holiday Insights Hub
Adobe Holiday 2018 predictions, actuals, and analysis
IBM Analytics Outage
J Crew Website Outage
Google and Facebook Outages
Don't forget to like our facebook page, and if you enjoyed this episode please write us a review on itunes.
Episode 154 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at SapientRazorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.
Jason: [0:25] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this is episode 154 being recorded on Tuesday November 27th 2018 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your Cohoes Scot Wingo. Scot: [0:40] Hey Jason welcome back Jason Scott show listeners we sincerely hope you had a great Thanksgiving an awesome profitable Black Friday and a record shattering Cyber Monday Jason did you get enough turkey over the break. Jason: [0:55] I did indeed it's my favorite time of the year my two favorite things shopping and eating. Scot: [1:01] I have been dying to ask you two questions what's your favorite pie if pies are the favorite Thanksgiving dessert which pie and if not what's your favorite Thanksgiving dessert. Jason: [1:13] Do you like I'm a traditionalist I go with a pumpkin pie with whipped cream on it what about yourself. Scot: [1:18] I am a southerner so it has to be pecan pie with a little scoop of ice cream. Jason: [1:28] So my grandmother's family my grandma Daisy who's no longer with us is also a southerner and we always have followed her Thanksgiving Traditions but oddly somehow somewhere along the line she added a German chocolate cake to the mix so full disclosure I sort of Miss now that she's not with us anymore the grandma Daisy's German chocolate cake in addition to my pumpkin and pecan pies. Scot: [1:54] Maybe she was Southern German. Jason: [1:56] Exactly Daisy just was at a head of her time she was just a multicultural. Scot: [2:02] And then I've been dying to know how you survive when Starbucks closed for a day. Jason: [2:07] That is a great question there have been years when that was a challenge for me but I feel like at this Advanced stage of my life I have pretty much mastered at so a Starbucks wasn't Starbucks strategically close early so I like to make a visit before they close and then Abby as a back at the Starbucks I do have a super fancy automatic espresso machine that makes my Starbucks drinks at home. Scot: [2:36] Call and I saw you have published couple articles before we jumped into the meat of the show toast us what you been putting out there into the interwebs. Jason: [2:43] Yeah I was prolific the time off I give me a chance to catch up on a few things I've been meaning to do so you and I are both Ford's contributor so I published a Forbes article today and it's about a topic we first started broke on the the podcast it's called the future brick-and-mortar is Mobile in its talking about all these new store Concepts that are opening up and and how the customers mobile phone is increasingly becoming a mandatory part of the in-store shopping experience in an increasingly you need a mobile phone to get into the store so that that was interesting to me and then I did do an interview in emarketer all about the Amazon go store soap again probably not any, opinions that would be new or surprising to Jason and Scott show listeners but nice concise article of sort of every swear I think the the Amazon go stores are going so I'll I'll post a link to both of those in the show note. Scot: [3:46] Cool this is kind of a the first of a Trilogy of shows were put together that really are looking at kind of the halftime report of where we are as far as holiday 18th concerned we're recording this the day after Cyber Monday so we've got those key 5 days out there and some data starting to roll in then our next to Gaston the show or going to come with some more proprietary data someday we're going to do kind of a hot take on what we're seeing out there from Publix results from all kinds of sources that that will try to slip note as we go through and we want to jump into that and it wouldn't be a Jason Scott show without some Amazon used to kick it off. Jason: [4:34] Amazon news new your margin is there opportunity. Scot: [4:42] So Amazon is one of the most secretive companies you'll ever come across and holiday is no exception typically they did Issue a press release which was some of it was interesting and revealing and others of it was frustrating leak looked so I just wanted to walk through some of the highlights there. First highlight is a tortoise a new term where Amazon is calling it instead of I like the Cyber 5 they're calling it The turkey-5. Jason what you think about this rebranding of the five days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. Jason: [5:13] So I think I don't consider rebranding I think both terms are important so you were actually the first person I heard you cyber 5 and it was quite some time ago way before the podcast and so I've embraced that when I'm talking about e-commerce sales over those five day. But when I'm talking about omni-channel sales and brick-and-mortar sales then I feel like we need to talk about the turkey-5. Scot: [5:36] Okay well next time they can both look together so. What are some of the highlights of wood Amazon announced they announce the Cyber Monday was their biggest day ever and they sold millions quote-unquote millions which you know I think. Is a range between 1 and 100000. I don't know how to arrange that I know it starts at 1 and goes Tenpenny so millions and millions of Amazon devices were sold the new Echo dot was the top Amazon device, they sold Millions more this turkey-5 versus last over 18 million toys and then over 39 fashion items and I always find it interesting to Think Through. And some of this is probably much mind-reading but herbal Tea Leaf reading that goes on here you know why do they pick out these two categories I think 21 is kind of like Hey we're picking up that Toys R Us business that evaporated out there and then fashion everyone there's been a lot of negative kind of Amazon Fashion Stories where people are saying Yep they're not really doing well they're fashion designers aren't embracing Amazon so this one I thought was just a little bit of hay. Fashion industry check us out. [7:05] This is the most revealing data point they said in total and I believe this is a u.s. number over a hundred eighty million items were sold over the turkey five and when I try to do the math on that if we assume, $50 average order value that comes in kind of 9 billion now sometimes Amazon average order value is tricky because sometimes they include didn't see if this was paid or unpaid items as soon as paid items unpaid items would be free books to Kindle stuff there free apps on stuff like that. So this could be as high of us as a $75 ASP 1213 billion dollars. [7:48] So I wasn't ashamed actually kind of put a number out there that I could actually anchor off of and get to a real number that's the first time. [7:56] It's a third party sales grew 20% year-over-year Which is pretty good you know I would expect so so you know. E-commerce is going around 15% according to the US Census and Cubs score. Amazon has been growing in the mid-to-high 20s so it's actually little loaf I felt for this third-party datapoint if I understood the metric right I've only grow 20% year-over-year and then couple of highlights they said Black Friday alone or million toys and electronics are sold through the mobile app so I think they're they're highlighting you know I think there were talking a little bit about showrooming where I think they're trying to hints that people are out in the stores shopping toys Electronics on Amazon from their phones while they're out couple other highlights of the top sellers. Obviously Amazon devices everywhere you go you see that mentioned so this is Nivea. Echo Christmas there should be a lot more Echo devices out the world after this holiday looks like instapot the classic is a top seller I am now seeing it everywhere so around Prime day you only saw it at Amazon and now I can't run into a store without Nintendo switch is hot this year. [9:20] Such a platform has been around awhile but has, new Breath of Life Jason what did what did you think of Amazon's results on Turkey 5. Jason: [9:28] Yeah it's always interesting to try to parse anything out of their press releases because that you know they're the pretty expert of giving you these numbers. That we don't have any frame of reference for a right like everything's the biggest ever but you know they said all these records last year so if they were .1% growth it would be, it would still be the biggest ever and they let you know they give you this many items in these big categories you know it's obvious they're trying to paint a Rosy picture without disclosing too much real information but to me some of the things that jump out like your math is super interesting if we take that $50 aov and say they're like. You know it will you don't 9 billion to 12 billion that puts them at a third to about a half of what a Dobby predicted. Overall e-commerce sales were for the the December 5 so. Normally we think of Amazon as being about half of e-commerce so if they're only a third to a half of cyber 5 e-commerce that actually means. Other retailers are doing a better job of of grabbing a little bit of that traffic so that to me is interesting. [10:38] It does make sense to me that 3-piece sales would it be growing as fast on Cyber 5 because I think Amazon promotes the bejesus out of the Amazon owned products particular The Echoes In fires and the Rings were heavily promoted and so you know when they're selling. Not even just one p items but Amazon owned Brands so heavily and kind of crowds out that the three p a little bit. And it is interesting to me you know this these guys are increasingly becoming the largest retailer in North America get on the biggest sales days of the year the things they're able to sell the most of our the things they own which is like completely unique like you know prior to Amazon you know Craftsman was not the number one selling item at Sears on Black Friday for example so that feels like a. That's sort of interesting Trend and you know it'll be interesting when we get some of the other guests on that have some datasets to kind of get their point of view about all that. Scot: [11:39] Now Adobe has been probably the most prolific this holiday with getting their data out which is interesting because I haven't seen last couple years IBM made of big push but I didn't see them out there really pushing hard on the data so it's almost like a one kind of company show now with Adobe and I know you gathered some of the highlights what what did you see there. You don't want to spoil it for 4 we have us be coming on the next shows we don't want to spoil too much but what were some highlights. Jason: [12:11] Just a quick primer on data sources the route to write like the the most ubiquitous best data source out there that I use the most of it kind of track it is Adobe there's three big analytics platforms that e-commerce lights tend to use Adobe IBM and Google Google you know his never liked had an evangelist kind of you know posting real-time data out there IDM some years does some of your doesn't they actually had a very meaningful outage on their analytics platform this year which will talk about a little later so even if they're planning on it I suspect they they bailed when they started having problems and Adobe did a phenomenal job so it will hear specifically from Adobe tomorrow but just so listeners have sort of a frame of reference. Adobe is heavily used by the largest. Brick-and-mortar retailers in in North America so I feel like they're their data ranges a very broad set of retailers from. Serta medium size two very big you know they don't have much data from Amazon who doesn't use any of these platforms for their main main site. So to me Adobe is kind of the broadest and definitely best representation of the biggest sites that are most meaningful. [13:27] I do have some data from Shopify which I think of a sort of the long tail so it's interesting to see what's going on there and then we do get some data from Salesforce which is. Salesforce Commerce cloud is the old demandware e-commerce platform and to meet a man where is a little more than itchy it's kind of in the middle between. The really big sites and the long tail it's these like pretty darn big predominately apparel sites for example. And so it just it's interesting to see where the date of matches between those different sets and where it's different but that kind of. [14:04] Key things up adobe gives us a number for every day of cyber 5 so Thursday was 33.7 billion. Which is up 28% Friday with 6.2 billion which is up 23.6% Saturday was 3.2 billion. Which is up 25% Sunday was 3.2 billion which was up 25% Monday the biggest day ever for. Ecommerce with 7-point not in North America is 7.9 billion which was up 29% so. Hopefully you're not doing math while you're driving in the car you add up those 5 days and there were 23.1 billion dollars worth of sales during those. Those 5 days. [14:53] I just realized I had a slight air in my spreadsheet so we'll actually see Liam and then I caught 24.1 billion in in sales over those 5 days. And the gross for all 5 days was about 26% and what's interesting about that is Adobe predicts. 124 billion for the entire November December. And a growth I would like 14.8% which is. Kind of similar to all the other e-commerce estimates we see you in that 10 to 15 to 16% and so you go wait. These five days grew 26% they represent about 15% of the whole holiday right there. You know about 19% of the holiday right there so it's it's it's interesting that that it seems like these days are getting the disproportionate amount of the. The grout sensor you sometimes your talks about how promotions are stretching out longer and in that stretching out sales but the data makes it seem like people are still very habituated to shop on these Amy's 5 cyber 5 days. Scot: [15:58] So yeah. Jason: [16:01] I was just going to add to it in Shopify doesn't provide super granny or data. But they did give us an Insight that on the the four days between Thanksgiving in and Cyber Monday they sold about 1.6 billion and about 1.8 billion over the Cyber 5 so if that's true again Adobe says 24 billion sold all over the Cyber five and Shopify alone sold 1.8 billion that would put Shopify at about 7.5% of all. Cyber 5 sales witch. I kind of doubt year-round that they have that big market share again that we don't have good data to know for sure. It's believable to me that more shopping shift to do some of the Shopify sites over holiday so I don't know what what's your initial reaction on that Scott could you. Scot: [16:53] Kills High you know but. It's hard to say the thing that always confounds me about some of these things is when you add up the pie slices I always get up to like 130% so no matter whether it's holiday data or quarterly data or annual data I always get a little confused by how all the stuff adds up. The number to supposed to. Jason: [17:18] Incident if you compare that so again and that the Dobies kind of this broad look if you look at like Salesforce you see like more like a 16% growth for e-commerce to see traffic going 9% what what's interesting to me about salesforce's they share some of their mobile numbers and sales for says that like 62% of all there traffic was mobile. And a 45% of all their sales was Mobile on Cyber Monday for example and on. Black Friday mobile actually Pete that slightly over 50% of all of all sale so so you know. [18:03] In the demandware Echo System the majority a strong majority of traffic is mobile and almost half of all orders is of of Revenue is mobile orders are actually number of orders is actually even a little higher so if you think about like you got dollars in sales you got number of orders and you got traffic. The the Salesforce number to look kind of like the Shopify numbers from mobile so we have a couple of vendors that share their data that mainly live on the Shopify platform and swim it was one that talked to you on Twitter and they were claiming 73% of their Shoppers were mobile and 62% of their shop their purchases were mobile those mobile numbers are way higher than what we see from Adobe where it's going to be something like 45% of traffic was mobile and only like 30 or 30. 5% of of orders were mobile so it's going to be interesting to talk to Adobe about about that if it is. In their mind true that this a longer tail is more mobile than than their whole user base or what were missing their. Scot: [19:09] And I also wonder if it Dobie is including any Magento data because historically it was mostly kind of that omniture I did it right that they were effectively tapping into so I wonder if they're able to pull in the Magento data analysis. Jason: [19:26] Yeah that will be interesting I'm going to Mike Hess is going to be no for this year the murderer wasn't that long ago and remember. Magento can't see the majority of their data so most people are running the gento on-prem they they have the software but magenta wouldn't necessarily know whether the revenue was unless they happen to be either one of the the minority of Magento customers that's hosted. Scot: [19:50] I forgot that they were more of an assault versus has. Bottom line this it feels like online were definitely kind of more in the 20 to 30% Reigns versus kind of the traditional 15 so that feels good and then it feels like a brick-and-mortar is a little slow. Jason: [20:10] Yep so well it depends on what you mean by slow so. Scot: [20:18] They have been drawn at kind of like three or four percent right kind of mid single-digit. Jason: [20:22] Some MasterCard says that like on Black Friday brick-and-mortar sales were up 9% there. Scot: [20:32] What's good. Jason: [20:33] Yeah that sounds great MasterCard is predicting that November December sales will be up. 5% right and of course you know you can imagine what MasterCards dataset is they have like like a 1/3 of all the credit card sales. [20:47] So so those are good numbers there's a couple companies that rent Hardware to retailers that gets installed on the front door to the store to measure traffic in the store so one of those companies is called shoppertrak and the other is called retailnext they aggregate all their data as traffic data shoppertrak says that traffic was down 1% over the holiday over by Friday retail next said the traffic was down five to 9%. [21:20] They do tend to attract slightly different customer so as I sit here I can't tell you exactly what categories they tend to be strong in butt that sounds to me like fewer people are going to the store then they have in years past and yet we still see higher sales in the store and we have in your past which just means the conversion rate of Shoppers to buyers is higher and the amount they're spending when they're in the store is higher and so you add all that up I think before the holiday started people were kind of forecasting they're like 16% e-commerce growth like in a three to 4% brick-and-mortar gross I think it's possible we're going to see like 5% he, brick-and-mortar drugs which would be the biggest year since 2011 so we may see some big numbers on the revenue side when I'm more worried about is that it it potentially was super promotional revenue and said the earnings may may suffer that that commonly is the yin and yang of of holiday sales. Scot: [22:23] Yeah unfortunately won't have a read on that until some of the January did I start to come out right before results. Jason: [22:29] Exactly it mostly shows up in earnings where people are like oh we had our Revenue goals but we missed our earnings goals Adobe does get to see some interesting promotional data so when they're on we will definitely get their perspective about whether the holiday felt online more. Lesser the same promotional is past years. Scot: [22:49] Call a couple other seems I saw out there there was this kind of is Black Friday dead a lot of this circles around somatic Mall while getting your everyone is there's a whole controversy around the opening on Thanksgiving Day itself and. Some retailers like REI stand on that others are kind of messaging that up even more and more and they're doing their doorbusters around that so there's a dinner I had some day. [23:20] Where they actually had several buckets of Shoppers they reported on so they said 41.4 million people shot online only from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday so the I guess I'll call that cyber 5 and that 6.4 million more who's been shot exclusively in stores so they have an online exclusive bucket stories lusive bucket and then they have an omni-channel bucket and then the omni-channel bucket they say 89.7 million hour Shoppers. So I'll see you in a day or calling a reference so so that was interesting and there's an article that was kind of saying because more people shopped online than offline during that. It was kind of the end of the traditional Black Friday. Brick-and-mortar holiday discount Holiday in your reaction to that. Jason: [24:22] Yeah it was it yummy you here to Reasons by Friday is going away because people are shifting online and because black Fridays you know keeping earlier tough to Thursday night it didn't feel like, more stores open on Thursdays then did years pass so I don't think that really affected by Friday I do think / that interested anymore yeah if you're only going to do one of the other there more people that are opting for the convenience of online shopping and that that seems reflected in the the few datasets we had that show store traffic was down so I could lie but honestly it doesn't feel like. [25:03] A dramatic shift to me over your you know it seems very windy or change versus sort of an exponential change and I think all this is happening in a climate in which like most of the consumer macroeconomic factors are really favorable and particularly for the first time in a long time the macroeconomic factors for low-income Shoppers are favorable in those are the Shoppers that are least likely to shop online right like so that's the the low-income Walmart Shopper probably feels like they have more money in their pockets and they have the last several holidays and until I feel like you know some of that the trends that we try to predict do I get office gated by the fact that there probably just are more people shopping and more people spending money this year than they then we've seen in the last couple years so that's that's a good problem but it makes it hard to really. [25:59] Really have a strong opinion I have I will say one of their data points from UW data is that buy online pickup in-store orders were up 50% over your past so I think like driving with an RF data what we're seeing is that the this notion of these being separate channels is going away and people are increasingly using digital tools whether they. Go to the store or not and you know you tease me for talking too much about grocery on the show I feel like this is the first year when people could potentially buy online curbside pickup their their ingredients for their Thanksgiving dinner and so I haven't seen any data on that yet but I but I know as an amenity digital grocery shopping was available to many more consumers this year than ever before and so I'm going to be really interested to see if Shoppers take advantage of that and if that you know changes behavior and all of those are two things so I think there's going to be a lot of fun fall out to follow from this holiday. For the next several months we should keep doing the podcast. Scot: [27:01] We we will another theme that was interesting and you kind of touched on this little bit with outages Amazon seems to be pretty robust Facebook had an outage kind of like right around Thanksgiving so happy for freaking out. It was kind of a yeah that was interesting and then you would mention coremetrics an outage Amazon I've been kind of rough for Prime day then they did Cyber Monday and end so that's interesting it seems like they must have tweet whatever they had some lips on on Prime day good warm-up for Cyber Monday. I did see some articles that highlighted some other stuff it's hard in today's news climate to know kind of what exactly is going on and how bad it is with what did you see as far as I was just. Jason: [27:47] Yeah I think there were some partial out I mean the number retard saw some partial added outages for you know for some subset of all the people that tried to get to the site for some small. Of time during the day and it's really hard size how significant those are I would slide side note on the Facebook one when Facebook has an outage it has an impact on e-commerce in an unexpected way there's a fair amount of eCommerce sites that let you use your Facebook credential as the keys to your eCommerce account in your stored payment information so it is possible when Facebook's down that the people can't log into their account on an e-commerce site and and Shop so it has the potential to have that impact and Facebook tags are all over these e-commerce sites so even. If the outage and I don't think this was such an outage causes those tags to not respond it can really have a material impact on the page load speed on all these e-commerce side so there's. [28:46] Town of best practices that site should do to mitigate those risks and and frankly wait way too many sites do do to those best practices so it's always surprising to me. But you reference IBM and their analytics package which I think officially is now called IBM Analytics all ice Old-Timers would know it is coremetrics and from my perspective they had a pretty catastrophic outage so I think they were out for most of Black Friday and then, I were able to resolve the issues and then they have another significant outage for most of. [29:24] Cyber Monday so that's a huge deal if you're running a site in your using the analytics to make decisions about you know whether you should get more less promotional you know what what marketing you should be doing on the side how much additional email you should send you know that. Data from that from your analytics platform is critical and you know some heavy rain Deluxe platform out is a huge deal I will tell you I had several clients that that had an outage and the only reason that they weren't Furious is because many of them are now using more than one analytics package so pretty, and that you had a IBM and Google which meant you were exclusively. Using Google for the holiday and it probably is not going to bode well the next time you know IBM comes to have Yuri up your your contract and you had this outage in the most important time and you were forced to use Google and probably found out that that that Google Map most your needs so I think from a business standpoint that that IBM analytics at outage is going to be pretty catastrophic I think they were probably struggling to maintain market share against Adobe and Google anyway and so this is probably going to be a. Another black eye to them in that regard. Scot: [30:42] Quick question did this. So I know that mosites almost every page of a site while will reference to the underlying analytic system and there's a lost tag and stuff did this cause the retailer sites to either go down or be sluggish or to those guys. All currently have that kind of asynchronous so that if it's down it doesn't really. Jason: [31:02] Exactly so what you want and what the in finished all these vendors at least the analects vendors sort of beg you to do is have these tags load asynchronous way which essentially means it doesn't block anything from happening lower on the page from still happening while that tag loads and so it's still even when you load it asynchronously there still you know some ways in which its it's hurt hurting your rendering budget but but the impact is much lower than having the screen be white while you wait for that tag to fail and so for analytics most people have them well implemented and I didn't hear about any anyone that had coremetrics tags blocking the whole site. You do like to also put all these vendors at the end of the page but for Analytics. [31:50] That means you miss out on a lot more analytics if someone like interrupt a page from completely loading or their clicks away from the page before for renters and so you know the analytics vendors like to have their their tags at the very top of the page so when there's an outage. It's even a little more prominent so. Bad deal all around but to my knowledge there were no there were no sites that were like literally WhitePages while they're waiting to find out that the idiom tags didn't work. I don't think Google analytics had any problems but Google had a problem with her at platform over the holiday and I know that impacted a lot of people's promotional plans that you know I felt like the number of clients that had. Plan spins and open the spins that they you know we're going to make over holiday depending on how things went and they literally were like locked out of their AdWords account and weren't able to make some of the adjustments that they intended to make. Scot: [32:46] Yeah that the Facebook ad platform was down during their outages well so it could be some pretty material. Jason: [32:54] Yep that digital marketing tends to be about the third-highest source of traffic to the site so that's a big deal and then the retailer that I think at the most news for having a complete outage unfortunately it was at J crew had a very aggressive sale they were they were offering 50% off on everything and I think they were there down for like the majority of of. Black Black Friday so that's a pretty tough outage I know that they probably offered to extend that sale. Extra days to try to catch that that Revenue but in most cases you know a shopper. Likely move to some other other site and spent that money somewhere else so so you know that that's. Pretty material impact to be down that long on this holiday so sorry for my friends at J.Crew and that's probably going to be a perfect place to wrap it we promise to keep this is a short concise show just about the holiday folks have any comments or questions as always we encourage you to jump on her Facebook page and will continue the dialogue there as always if you found the show useful we'd love it if you jump on the iTunes and give us that 5-star review. Scot: [34:10] Makes everyone we hope that you're cyber 5 / turkey-5 crushed all your expectations and that you are going to finish strong in Holiday 18. Jason: [34:23] Absolutely and then till next time happy commercing.