EP278 – Adobe Holiday E-Commerce Forecast with Taylor Schreiner
In Episode 277 we covered some of the early overall holiday sales forecasts, and the issues likely to impact this holiday season. In this episdoe we get the very first look at Adobe 2021 Holiday Shopping Forecast. This is a deep dive on digital shopping behaviors based on Adobe Analytics, which analyzes 1 trillion visits to retail sites and over 100 million SKUs. We break it all down with Taylor Schreiner, Director of Adobe Digital Insights.
Episode 278 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday. October 14th, 2021.
Join your hosts Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.
[0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this episode is being recorded on Thursday October 14 2021 I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your co-hosts Scot Wingo.
[0:38] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners
we are smack in the middle of October and for all of our retail listeners you know what that means it is go time for Holiday 21
way back in episode 277 last week we talked about the supply chain challenges I like to call that Supply pain and we shared the e-commerce retail forecast from Salesforce Deloitte
and beIN but there was one notable missing forecast from that list and that’s one of our favorites the Adobe forecast
well in this episode we’re going to fix that hole in the universe we’re going to fill it and Adobe is releasing their holiday forecast here on the 20th which is when we’ll be releasing this podcast and we are really excited to have with us today
Taylor Schreiner he is the director of Adobe Digital insights and fun fact this is adobe’s fifth time on the show Welcome Back Taylor.
[1:34] Thanks God do we get a free sandwich.
[1:37] Sure if we were there together we would have a sandwich but we’ll we’ll do a virtual high five instead how about that.
[1:44] Just to warn you Scott’s character is like grilled into the sandwich so some people find that.
[1:49] Oh no I’ll close my eyes this could thank you Scott thank you Jason it’s great to be here we’d love talking to you guys and we love listening to you guys so it’s a fun conversation to have.
[2:03] We are thrilled to have you Taylor and I do want to Dive Right In to your methodology and then your data but before we do real briefly remind.
Um the audience what your role is at at Adobe to sort of frame frame where your perspective is coming from.
[2:20] Sure so I run a group called Adobe Digital insights it’s got mentioned and we are charged with,
using aggregated and anonymized adopted in data to.
Help the industry retail and other Industries as well understand the major trends that we see in the data that comes through Adobe analytics or adobe Commerce or any of the other.
I could get it to Commerce and experience cloud services that we have.
So so our job is to tell stories to make it take all that huge area did it and tell stories that help people understand their world.
[2:59] That’s awesome and so there’s a bunch of different components of the the Adobe marketing cloud in the do Adobe Commerce Cloud but.
Sort of Marque things Adobe analytics which a long time ago too many of us that are super old was Adobe was omniture,
is a is a key component of the analytics suite and Magento is a key component of the marketing cloud and so you you get to see,
an awful lot of,
Commerce transactions across the web via those two products and the rest of the the Adobe stack and you get to use that anonymized data to sort of formulate this holiday forecasting this case is do I have that right.
[3:41] Absolutely and I really appreciate you calling me super old.
[3:44] I didn’t say you called it I’m not sure I said I.
[3:47] I remember I remember the under two days I do but yes.
[3:50] I’m pretty sure there’s like the URL for the analytics dashboard still says all mature.
[3:54] I think sometimes it does yeah now it’s absolutely right face.
[3:58] And then one important distinction some of the.
Holiday forecast that Scott mentioned in the intro are actually overall retail forecast and one of the things that that is unique your forecast is slightly more focused you’re focused on digital Commerce do I have that right.
[4:16] That’s right we have we focused exclusively on digital Commerce and we’re looking what makes us unique is that we are looking across,
over a trillion interactions with retailers across thousands of retailers across over a hundred million skus with a
boatload of AI behind that sort of categorizing and understanding it but you know the core of it I think for your listeners is weird.
The where the group is actually looking at what people are buying in what quantity and what they’re actually paying for it.
It’s ridiculous prices we’re not doing surveys were actually looking at the the behaviors that we can observe a huge scale and using that to do both the reporting in this case are forecasting of the holiday season.
[4:56] Yeah and that’s super exciting to me because that I frequently rail against the value of stated preference surveys in our industry and and what we’re talking about today is observed preferences lies actual data and consumer behavior that you’re watching.
[5:11] Absolutely and it’s gonna be fascinating.
[5:13] Yeah so just two other minor precursors and we’ll jump in because there is so much variability out there when you say holiday what date range are you talking about.
[5:22] Good point right now we’re talking about the first of November till the end of the year although arguably make it into it you know some of the stuff is starting to creep into October 2 but when we talk about numbers were talking about November 1 to December 31.
[5:34] Perfect we’ll come back to that but yeah I think I think the the shoulders of that season are going to be more interesting than ever and then when you say,
Like approximately like what is in retail to you I could go US Department of Commerce restaurants and gas stations are in there like do you guys have a standard definition of retail just to kind of frame what we’re talking about.
[5:56] We generally look at a thing where the transaction the Fulfillment are fully executed
online we exclude from this things like travel which is a different industry or anything where it’s simply a payment system online but you know any Commerce where you’re doing your shopping,
your your payment and your fulfillment online generally falls into into our space so not restaurants are delivery services but
but the goods that you would normally associate with with retail shopping outside of that.
[6:27] Awesome and so digital grocery than would be in there.
[6:29] Yes he’s a digital grocery appliances apparel all that kind of thing.
[6:34] Perfect okay well I think that’s enough Preamble and we’ve done enough teasing what’s what’s the Top Line are we all going to get our bonuses this year or is it going to be bleak.
[6:43] It’s your our data showing a good year or days showing a year where the story is really consumers want to shop
consumers wanted to go buy online
but it’s going to be really different year for retailers and for consumers because of the supply pain that Scott was referring to earlier they’re going to see a lot more out of stock they’re going to see a lot,
you know a lot higher prices frankly and that’s I think it’ll hold us back from having a incredible year.
Now just keep in mind I’m talking about a 207 billion dollar,
season which you know we don’t have a great aggregate retail forecast that we based off right now but that’s roughly $1 and for of all of all retailgeek.
As far as we can see maybe a little more than that.
And it’s 10 percent up from last year which you know in the long run of historical growth rates is a little bit low but we’re getting off of a 33% jump the year before so if you kind of look all the way back to 2019 we’re still.
Accelerated from where you would have expected us to be if you’ve been projecting from a prepaid nemec stance so it kind of depends on where you’re looking at it from.
But however you look at it it’s going to be a big year.
[7:58] Got it so in my mind I sort of think of it traditionally year of e-commerce growth for Holiday being kind of like pre-pandemic.
We were kind of running in this like 10 to 15% a year sort of range,
um and all of retail would be growing at like four percent a year so then last year the pandemic forces everyone online we have this monster year 33 percent and then this year you’re looking for you’re looking at 10% on top of last year’s monster year.
[8:27] That’s right that’s right still going to grow it’s still good grow significantly it’s still good grow you know maybe as you stay at the kind of lower bound of what we used to see but it’s a real
real growth rate now they’ll be some differences in what grows and how it grows you can get into that but it’s going to be a good year.
[8:44] And one of the thing that’s always funny to me is I guarantee you when the the sort of superficial press get ahold of your forecast they’re all going to write the story about how e-commerce has is slowing way down.
[8:58] Right yeah nobody wants to talk about two year growth rate or you know try and digest everything that’s happened over over the course of the pandemic and fine and but I know,
when you step back even a little bit e-commerce has transformed over the past 20 24 months
I think the bigger story is people are shopping for their groceries people are shopping for their Furniture you know folks out here in Berkeley or buying compost online,
the way that people engage with e-commerce has radically transformed over the course of the pandemic and that’s here to stay and that’s this the basis of that growth and that
you know that’s the part that really has accelerated over the course of cobit so if you want to look at a particular growth rate and say it’s slowing down,
but I don’t think for instance you know I want to make predictions in 223 but I don’t think this 10 percent growth rate in 22 is telling you that 23 is going to be slow I think it’s more of a balancing act between.
2020 and 2021.
[9:58] And again like this still means e-commerce is almost certainly growing faster than brick and mortar.
Filming the whole industry is still growing in a very disruptive year I do want to like maybe double-click on covid just for a second because this was the big open question when we were all living through,
the first half of the pandemic was sure.
Everybody’s turning to e-commerce people don’t want to go to the stores there’s health and safety issues they’re all they’re all these open things so not surprising that it drove more people online a big question at that time was.
Is this just an acceleration of a trend and this is going to be the new normal or will those people all be desperate to go back to the store and resume and back to the mall and kind of resume their pre-pandemic.
Shopping behaviors and.
My read of your data says no no we’re locking in all those changes that happened last year and then we’re we’re growing at a pretty healthy clip from there is that a fair way to be thinking about it or am I wrong headed as got usually points out.
[11:02] No in this particular case you happen to be right the that’s absolutely true if you look at the aggregate growth I think it tells exactly that story that it,
it is we’re banking all the gains that you got through covid and there were growing on top of that,
I think another stat I think really tells the story is our buy online pick up curbside.
Data which you know followed that trajectory you talked about Jason,
getting up there as we got into the pandemic and retailers adjusted we have a we have a set of retailers we look at the median portion of their online
purchase online orders that are fulfilled curbside and that ramped right up last year with all of its fulfillment challenges ranked right up right before Christmas you about 25% we thought that’s a
that’s a high peak right we got into April of this year and it gone right back up to 25% people are still going and pick you up curbside that’s a habit that they’re in
their shopping online and fulfilling next to the store and we expect that to hit a whole new record frankly as we go into this year so
it’s a it’s a habit that people have gotten into and they’re not letting go of.
[12:10] Wow and if this is from memory but I want to say last year you guys said that well well e-commerce grew at 33% the dopest segments are the curbside pickup segment grew way faster than that it was like a hundred and ninety-five percent.
[12:25] Yeah I don’t have enough time I have like it’s something like that it was it was significant and this year’s going to be.
Going to be crazy and you know anecdotally you know there are a number of stores where I think
hey I really like this I’m not going to set foot in number of those I’ll shop with them but I’m against it putting them again for a while if I don’t have to this is great for me.
[12:47] Yeah you know it’s maybe only partly analogous but I talked to a lot of Quick Serve restaurants.
And you know they have the same thing right they sold they sold meals but it was all off Prem consumption and you know the restaurants that have the biggest intrinsic Advantage were ones with drug through.
And I’ve talked to an awful lot of restaurant tours that are like if I could wave a magic wand and make my dining room go away and have a more robust drive through.
I would do it because that’s the customer that that appears to be the long-term customer preference.
[13:19] Yeah I think and I think a lot of retailers who have got good real estate or obviously having to rethink how much of this is a you know distribution center and how much of this is a shopping experience and you know it’s gonna be different than it was two years ago for sure.
[13:34] And then I guess the one other sort of observational thing I’ve noted is.
Yeah so you know our store is going to get people to walk back in the store to pick up those digital orders are they going to continue to pick them up at curbside and you know one who knows but one clue.
Um is pre-pandemic Walmart had these in storage lockers these robotic lockers this cool Tower and all their stores.
Um and they d installed all of those towers and they’re now doing a national remodel with a much more robust,
curbside picking lot parking lot right so it seems very clear and Walmart’s case that they’re saying hey the.
You know this isn’t just a reaction of the pandemic this is a you know a permanent infrastructure change we’re making two.
To make to eliminate in-store pickup and make curbside pickup more.
[14:24] I think that’s right I think that is likely the trend I think you know it there’s a lot.
A lot of the hassle of of shopping that you’re removing with shopping online and pick you up at the store is,
is that last not mile I mean the last you know a hundred feet hundred yards of going in there and getting in the inline or whatever if you can just sit with your app and check your email with some well so they put stuff in the trunk that’s a lot of a lot of value add there so I would expect that to be continue to be the trend.
[14:52] Bullets as I introduced I’m kind of keenly aware or following the supply chain stuff and I noticed in the front of your
presentation one of the bullets is unprecedented out of stock levels if you guys can you share like you know what you think that’s going to be and is there any way to
put a number on that like you’re numb your forecast would have been you know twice as big if it wasn’t for this or you just guys are just flagging it as this adds risk to the holiday.
[15:21] It’s a fair question something we think a lot about I mean it’s really hard to characterize and we probably just need more more.
Time with the with the day I met don’t make time to think about it but time series data to really understand how out of stock.
Alters people shopping behaviors whether they abandon or whether they take some to which they redirect themselves.
I will tell you is that you’re going into if you look at sort of 2019 isn’t as
the normal it was growing when people were getting more out of stock items more of stock hits over time maybe you know creeping up toward fifty or a hundred percent more even over the course of the year and the pandemic hits and
people are five times more likely basically four and a half to five times more likely to get an out of stock message and that’s today
that’s not necessarily going to Holiday where things could get more challenging.
So that could go up where we see it often isn’t most often is in apparel so again you know I think it’s going to affect different categories differently
out of socks in the Peril can be if you’re looking for a particular stereo pair of sneakers or particular you know
this is the 20th so what made you I was buying for my wife but something you know a vest or something right that is her birthday is on the 23rd so I want to tell her what’s what I was shopping for,
anyway the you know you might not get that.
[16:46] Is your wife a listener.
[16:48] I really doubt it.
But yeah you might get redirected to something else whereas in electronics for instance we see you know a lot of chips shortages but.
But price is a bigger factor in some of that marketing and decision making and so you’re able to see apparel prices creep up a little bit but a lot about a stock you see for instance Electronics prices
creep up a lot from what we would have expected but that that has reduced the out-of-stock challenges that they faced.
[17:24] So so it’s hard to put a quantity quantify on at this point maybe you think after the holiday you guys will be able to.
[17:31] I think it’ll be easy yeah I mean you know we have a clear estimate of what things might have looked like before I think after the holiday talk to us in January we can
we will have a better sense of how this played out this holiday season one of the challenges that I think is out there is it’s not clear
yet how much out of stock consumers are really going to see this season,
based on you know when retailers are running promotions how they’re stocking us those promotions how they’re managing their their portfolio of goods so.
We’ll have to see but it’s something that yeah had Beyond in January we’ll talk about.
[18:09] Okay it’s going to be more of a chess game because the retailer they have
the only information about what they have and what they can expect and then matching that to the promotional calendar this year is going to be interesting and playing a little game of chicken with the consumer to because consumers should be reading about this a lot so it’s going to be fascinating to watch watch how that plays out.
[18:29] Yeah I’ve been recommending to Consumers frankly to make two lists,
say look you got one list of things where I know I want this for the holidays and you got to buy it early because you might worry about your your out-of-stock situation and then another set of goods were you think hey you know if this doesn’t come through or
if I don’t get specifically the version of this that I want
yeah if I don’t get this TV but I get a different brand TV I’m okay and then those things you can really shop for on the big major sailed is but it’s you know.
It’s going to be it’s a lot of a lot of work for the retailers to figure out how this game is going to play out and frankly it’s gonna be a lot of work for consumers to figure out how they’re going to address it.
[19:10] I guess one of the ways I think about this it’s important to remember that out of stock does not automatically mean wah sales like a lot of times there’s a.
Customers first choice but the they’ll make on the Fly substitutions are switches when they discover some things out of stock so we still capture that.
That’s a land it seems like all like you know all the people forecasting retail sales for this holiday are pretty robust numbers you’re coming in with a pretty robust number,
everyone saying we’re not going to find,
consumers first choice of goods so the sort of logical conclusion here is the consumers in a spending mood when I go to the store to get baby grow goo for Scott for Christmas and it’s out.
Um Scott’s going to have to settle for some cool dune toy that I find.
[19:58] Hey didn’t really cool the The Arc right and I think maybe the way to answer Scott’s question directly is you know.
In the face of this rapidly increasing out of stock,
we’re seeing at least you know up to the 5x of what we saw in 2018 we have still seen
really impressive growth this year especially we’re 2019 so so far whatever headwind it is is not.
now I think you know the experiment that will be able to look at is if this starts to spike as we go into the holiday season if retailers have a hard time matching their inventory with with consumer demand then that might have a bigger impact in the they’ll be saying we can look at more closely.
[20:42] So you alluded to some of the categories and I have a feeling that.
Um that both out of stocks and the impact of out of stocks could play out very differently in different categories right like if someone goes to the grocery store and we’re out there out of your preferred brand of toilet paper.
You’re probably going to switch to another toilet paper but if there’s a particular luxury fashion item or a particular toy that little Johnny is asking for for Christmas.
Um you might be more inclined to hunt her harder for that product or defer that purchase and get it later or something like that right is does that make sense.
[21:16] Absolutely yeah and you know grocery out of stocks are not not at all infrequent with your particular Goods at a particular moment and then apparel is something I don’t know about the rest of you but I’ve gotten.
Pretty acclimated to the notion that I’m not necessarily going to be able to find the size and the color I’m looking for on the first try that it’s quite quite possible I have to hunt around but you know there’s a lot there a lot of style choices that go into that
whereas I think you know if you’re looking for a you know something specific as you say you know for particular.
Particular toy your gift you might have to hunt them different retailers to go find it but you might be willing to do that exactly well.
[21:58] So when you roll it out all that up are there any categories in your mind and end up being clear winners or losers for holiday.
[22:06] Well you know I think the it’s it’s a good question the the.
[22:17] Clearly where we’ve seen growth is where we’ve seen the clearest growth in the holiday
and in e-commerce in general has been in the things that are not holiday specifics of groceries apparel those kinds of things have really grown and we continue to see them grow so in some sense they are the Commerce winners because they’ve really absorbed the,
I think what’s going to be very successful early on are going to be these deals that get spread out around electronics and other gifts in an apparel we expect to see those went out very well
I’ve got my eye though on non physical Goods things like downloadable games and things like that that happen the mic
pop up toward the Christmas season is people who are looking to deliver something that is
great experience especially for kids that isn’t going to be constrained by shipping challenges and then.
[23:18] I don’t know where to put my bets this year because I’ve got my eye both on the demand that I see in a lot of things like
gaming consoles that are looking great but also on you know there’s a big question mark over over Supply challenges and how that will play out for them so
I would be cautious in spread my bets but but electron you know the traditional gift areas are going to do really well and apparel seems to be continuing to take off very strongly in what we’ve seen so far.
[23:48] So you the non-physical thing is super interesting ordinarily and holiday like as you get closer to the end of the year and you kind of hit shipping cut-offs and last year we talked about a lot about ship again I didn’t,
and you know bottleneck sit ups and FedEx and all of that you know retailers pivot to trying to sell.
Intangible products pretty hard right and most notably gift cards so I imagine that with the the inventory situations this year that that’s going to be more prominent than ever that you know if you can’t find the,
the toy you really want you know it might be an IOU you’re getting,
it holiday in the hopes of getting it in January or February but there is a new kind of intangible that kind of didn’t exist last year and is having a little bit of moment and I have a feeling Scott’s way more into it than I am but why.
Does all do all of these out of stocks kind of play into the the the.
In Ft kind of hate this year do you think that we could start to see some of them on the holiday wish list.
[24:52] I think I think in a few still have a ways to bleed into you know consumer experiences and consumer expectations that I see a lot of reading and not a lot of a lot of buying but if people can figure out how if retailers can figure out how to make.
You’re kind of cross that Chasm and figure out how to make it a real consumer experience and yeah I think there’s a lot of opportunity there for that and you know and speaking of things that are not necessarily tangible and expire or unique
you know we don’t forecast travel into our into our data but we do look at travel and right now you know prices for.
Plane tickets are about 13 percent less than they were on average in 2019 so you know depending on how.
Vaccinations and mask mandates and travel restrictions all play out there may be a push if knock wood covid gets better for more experiential,
experience driven options for people to give as gifts to.
[25:49] One of the things that I’ve been really intrigued by and this is because some of the companies have gone public but this buy now pay later and I saw you called it out and I’ve seen a lot of the Wall Street analyst
as a for my generation I look at it I’m kind of like,
you know why don’t I just put that on the credit card what’s interesting is I’ve seen this whole generational thing where Millennials and gen Z years
they’re looking at it as
they associate the credit around the item they don’t like kind of having open credit and they want it to be around a specific item what what are you guys seeing as it relates to the be npl.
[26:25] We love new acronyms right be in PL no I have exactly the same experience you just got where I think
exactly what you do this but we had two sources on this one is we looked at the actual data that we see flowing through our systems and we saw skyrocketing
last year of buy now pay later Behavior we saw about 44 percent growth over the course of the year,
weeks that slowed a little bit in percentage terms as we went through this year but you know as we get back into the holiday season I have every reason to expect that to re-accelerate,
and you saw quite the distribution two of you know sources of this is some retailers got into this business a lot of financial institutions got certain play in this area so there’s a lot more
we saw those we saw the minimums for buy now pay later come down from those institutions and simultaneously we actually saw consumers spend more or put put bigger purchases on buy now pay later,
and when we surveyed about it we,
we saw what you were alluding to Scott this is a generational difference in the way that people manage and even think about what credit really is and was striking to me is that the top,
category that folks told us that they were interested in using buy now pay later for was was clothing that they were making those kind of purchases and and Spring Meadow over time because they were,
lumpy in their year and then they were spreading it out across their income without affecting their credit.
[27:52] Electronics was obviously on that that set to you going to buy your television as televisions get bigger and more expensive or cheaper but bigger but what was the.
[28:02] Third category that I thought was fascinating was groceries.
And not again we dug under that that wasn’t just people it wasn’t generally people saying look I’ve got a week’s worth of groceries and I spread the payments out over four weeks that’s hard to make sense of but
but more you know I’m throwing a party or having an event and I have a spike in my grocery budget no one at this I want to smooth it
so it is a and then they were everyone was managing it sort of separately from this notion of having a lump of credit card debt they had a managed versus a purchase they had to think out and pay off those are two really different categories
so it is it’s a really different way of thinking about credit that’s manifesting in buy now pay later and it seems to continue to be growing at a significant rate.
[28:49] Yeah do you think.
The pitch that a lot of these so that the two big companies are there’s three there’s a firm karna and after by and I’m sure there’s more egg even like shopify’s coming out with their own and what not,
their pitch to retailers is it bumps up your cart size right do you think,
is this going to be a factor this holiday in our is it going to bump up the ASP you think there are still too small to be a meaningful consideration.
[29:17] You know when we when you average across the enormous event that is the holiday season I don’t think we’re going to see average order value is our average basket,
values go up significantly more noticeably are or more to the point me off trend of what we’ve seen in the past that said,
you know I think.
If these retailers are thinking about their customer base has more granularly and they’re thinking well I’ve got a group of folks who I can actually juice where I can do sup there their basket sizes and their purchases by offering that I think that probably is true and,
you know as with these kind of generational shifts it may make a difference in the longer term
as you change consumer buying habits it may open up a door for that generation is incomes increase and time goes by so I think probably more of a long-term play when it comes to
aggregate average order values but for specific audiences for specific customer bases I think it did make a difference.
[30:18] Yeah it’s going to be interesting you know there’s a payment method that historically has been really popular holiday that you know.
Rich people that listen to e-commerce podcast don’t tend to think about but it’s layaway.
And I like one of the interesting Trends you know Walmart which does a very robust delay way business retired their layaway this year in favor of a buy now pay later service.
[30:44] Yeah I remember the I remember the Layla way shelves.
Toys R Us when I was a kid and just sitting them seeing all these items sit there waiting for people to pay for them but if you can get the same effect.
And both for the consumer on their credit and for the retailer in terms of getting paid then it’s certainly more enticing for the customer to actually get the item rather than wait for it.
[31:10] I know for sure I do like to sad things there was kind of a fun tradition because of away away some very kind people would often go into a retail store.
And pay everyone’s layaway.
And it was kind of this like secret Santa thing and you know it would happen every year there would be lots of these cool stories so I worry we’re going to miss out on that which you know probably isn’t.
Isn’t hugely meaningful but it said to me but the other thing that worries me a little bit about holiday I do think like based on your growth forecast like this is going to be a bunch of consumers first experience with these buy now pay later services,
and I would still say there’s a lot of consumer confusion because like I look at the landscape of these services.
And the spectrum is very broad there are you know some kind of thinly veiled payday loan operators that are you know charging like huge interest and late fees and all these things on one end and then there’s there’s some like.
Really generous programs that are very popular in here that don’t charge interest in don’t have late fees and you know is sort of a.
Very low cost and so it.
I’m not sure consumers are going to be Savvy enough to differentiate all of those for this holiday I know Target in particular is offering two different buy now pay later options and.
Consumers are going to have to learn how to shop for those vendors now.
[32:35] I think that’s absolutely right Jason it’s very hard
you know it’s sort of an unstructured product that can have a lot of different attributes and it’s not like a credit card where you we serve reduced it to something like credit limit and interest rate right with some with some
bells and whistles and it’s also not,
it’s not even something that consumers know how to frame necessarily like I certainly didn’t when I got into the space what is this what are these payments mean what is the penalty if I miss the payment
you know what are my other options how are we going to communicate how you get paid what information do you need has if at my credit score it’s a lot to think about
and it’s going to you know
thinking has a lot of costs especially when consumers are shopping this quickly so you know I think we’ll have a reckoning Reckoning but a moment to pause and.
Reflect on how this all evolved we get to the holiday season it will see some things shake out I would imagine.
[33:31] Next well let’s pivot to something near and dear to my heart the we alluded to up top the shape of holiday so there’s two.
Parts of this that are super interesting to me,
ordinarily when we talk about holiday we’re laser focused on these five days at the end of November the turkey fiber that I think you guys caught the Cyber five.
[33:53] Yeah they’re my wake up at 3 a.m. 5 so I have I hold them in a different regard but they are.
You know the story that you know when we would talk to you guys before
for the pandemic would always be you know hey this the the season is growing but these big days are growing faster retailers are concentrated you’re competing and concentrating their deals on those days and we’re seeing retail consumers follow suit and they’re expecting those deals on those days
that really flipped around last year we had a massive growth last year about 30 odd percent 33 percent for the season.
[34:27] But the individual days were growing in the low 20s there are growing about 10% slower then the season as a whole and we expect that again this year we expect the season to grow at about 10% expect the big days to grow about five-ish percent.
To be clear they’re going to break records I mean we’re going to have an 11 plus billion dollar a day on Cyber Monday we’re gonna you know Black Friday is going to going to inch up close to 10 billion Thanksgiving is going to be you know over five it’ll,
level that we used to call Young used to be Black Friday of numbers it’s going to be massive but both because,
retailers are spreading out the deals for supply and fulfillment reasons and because
consumers have really shifted what it mean what e-commerce means in other words they’ve established sort of water level of shopping for things that are not holiday and promotionally driven,
those percentages are harder to move than they used to be so yeah it’s going to be
they’re going to be big days they’re gonna be huge that last hour before the end of Cyber Monday we’re going to see $12,000,000 move through the system in a minute so,
every minute so it’s going to be big but it’s going to be a different pattern especially the thing from the Retailer’s perspective than we’ve seen in the past.
[35:40] Interesting and do you have a feel for like how much it like I think you hit on the 2 reasons for it like one is the lot of large numbers there already huge.
Huge numbers and and you know frankly in some cases quite you just can’t squeeze more Goods through the.
The funnels on those days and then the other one is changing consumer patterns and and just you know more General e-commerce consumption on every other day of the month and all those other things like it,
I’m assuming it’s a blend of both of those but but is is this year more prominent that people are going to be holiday shopping on other days or you think we’ve just.
[36:18] Yeah it’s hard it’s a hard call I think what’s unusual about this year’s really the retailer side I mean you could imagine a world where
with fewer Supply constraints where retailers are more willing to put big sales on those big days and compete for eyeballs and four dollars so maybe a maybe there’s a new normal where that
changes but what I don’t think is changing is that consumers are now permanently going to be in a state where
Ecommerce is more and more available to them where you know be their home.
Certainly their phone is is increasingly an easy place to go shopping and so
all this concentration on these days is going to make less and less sense to them in terms of shopping behaviors if you go back out you know the origin of these days is really about
sitting outside a big box and and can’t be out and trying to get deals because you had to go in person but if you don’t,
if you if you if it’s less and less the case that you actually have to go get things then it becomes easier and easier to spread out your purchases over time and if you’re always shopping online you’re not,
you know just sort of the complete opposite of what you know going going to the office for Cyber Monday to go shopping which is what some of us used to do then
you know you’re much more open to these deals and opportunities that that retailers can offer you throughout the season so that part’s not going away.
[37:40] That’s a great point so so then let’s let’s zoom out a little bit you guys are counting holiday is November 1 through December 31st a lot of retailers would,
include January in there,
holiday season again a lot of you know gift cards and returns and people you know come in with that return and they buy more stuff so January normally is a good month,
and then this year the deals.
Started in October right like Amazon Started Black Friday deals on October 4th time to get started on October 10th I think.
Sort of boosted because of the supply chain concerns retailers are fighting really hard to start holiday shopping in October,
and because all the stuff we really want is stuck on a boat off the coast of Long Beach we might not get it until January or February so with all of that supply chain squishiness.
Like is there like what you know.
[38:39] What do we see.
[38:40] Holiday in November and December but is it even a like the rate of growth is even bigger if you were to kind of you know redefine holiday as a October through February.
[38:51] Yeah I mean the way that shows up in our data is that we see a we so far I’ve seen a very strong October,
we’ve seen very strong October in terms of overall e-commerce growth not not on par with you know the big holiday months but it’s you know we’re looking at you know
roughly that ten percent year-over-year a little bit more for October so it’s a good sign.
[39:17] The what we’re also seeing though is we’re keeping a close eye on prices and as I said we’re see we see.
Data at the transaction level and it gives us a particularly unique view into into prices and we’re going into your September are digital
price index which is the of the basket of goods that we see purchased online through retail was up 3.3%
over last year less than the CPI was up last month but still really significantly and
for context up until the pandemic we had never seen digital inflation it always be always in prices going down on part about 5% order of about five percent so
people are going into this season with higher prices there will be some discounts but we in October but I don’t think they’re going to make a dent in that inflation yet.
And frankly from what we’ve seen historically over the other holidays of this year we expect to go in with higher prices for goods in general and we expect discounts to be,
significant but a little bit shallower than they were at their last year their deepest point so consumers may be paying significantly more,
this year on a Black Friday for a particular item than they were they would have been last year on that same date when you add all that up.
[40:35] Nursing the so I know we’re up against time so a little lightning around here it wouldn’t be a Jason and Scot show if we didn’t talk about Amazon any any tea leaves on Amazon.
[40:47] So we are we assiduously avoid commenting on particular retailers for a number of reasons but everybody’s going to have a big year I would imagine this year.
[40:56] My theory is if the supply chain matters Amazon Amazon Walmart and maybe Target are so dialed in on that but it was some a bit of an advantage and could hurt the small guy this year but we’ll see how that plays out.
[41:11] What do you think the large versus small is a good good framing of that,
you know bigger retailers in and out of stock in a world without of stocks have more options to to offer and complete a sale and then small retailers who may see their carts more likely to be abandoned I think that’s a significant factor.
[41:31] Okay so then the next lightning one is you talked a little bit about inflation you talked a little bit about like discounting not having to be quite as deep.
How does that all washout in terms of profitability I do do retailers make more money on fewer sales this year or does do all these supply chain costs eat it up and,
and it’s you know thin margins.
[41:51] Yeah well so I think margin management is going to be a whole different game and retailers of already had to think a lot about that this year that you know the top line is going to be bigger per item so you’re going to get more Revenue but I don’t see that really being driven by
some kind of margin maximization Behavior it seems to be largely driven by increasing
increasing costs of goods and so you know I don’t see a real Gap step open it up between increasing costs and and increasing Revenue to create a giant chunk of margin there.
[42:28] How about anything on device Trends any news kind of done to be a bit of an old story that you know the smartphone is overtaking the desktop.
[42:37] There is a little bit of news it’s kind of fascinating so we
that’s that’s it if you looked at the share of Revenue that was doing through smartphones from 2014 till even into the pandemic you could have basically drawn a straight line I mean it was a it was a sort of,
Early College regression experiment that we’ve been super easy for
First Years to do that’s changed a little bit smartphones are still gaining cheer don’t get me wrong they’re still growing faster than desktop in terms of the revenue is coming through them.
Ever so slightly more slowly than than they used to and it may be an indicator that,
in America at least we may be headed toward an equilibrium to looks more like a sort of 50/50 World between desktop and phones which is obviously really different than some other parts of the world where that it may be 80/20 or 90/10.
[43:33] Right yeah I got two expense that so I can you know make it part of our part of our.
[43:38] If we get our new app tops in time then we’re all shopping on our laptops otherwise we’re all shopping on our floor.
[43:45] But it wasn’t a or we could talk all day I know you’re in super high demand this this time of year and and you know quite frankly not in demand at all the rest of the year so I’m sure we’ll talk again when.
When you’re less popular,
but this was awesome we really appreciate your time as always if folks want to continue the conversation or have questions you can hit us up on,
on the Twitter or the Facebook page,
and as always if you got value out of this show we sure would appreciate it if you’d go on to iTunes and give us that five star Christmas review.
[44:19] That’s what I’m going to do Jason.
[44:21] Awesome we push
it if that’s aren’t your gift to us and it’s digital so we don’t have to worry about Supply pain if I think in past years you guys have set up kind of a cool holiday news Hub is that something you’re going to do this year and we’re world where will we find them.
[44:37] It will be there I need to get you the URL we can put the URL in a link to this if you guys are watching this online I will make sure you guys have it before we got there but yes there will it’ll be there.
[44:47] All right we really appreciate the time.
[44:50] Right thank you guys I really appreciate Scott real patient appreciate Jason happy to do this anytime.
[44:56] We appreciate you Taylor and until next time happy commercing!