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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Holiday Sales - What do you think?
    So, I'm curious how people think the Holiday sales will turn out? I noticed that Wal-Mart, eBay and Amazon published not so rosy guidance for the 4th quarter.

    Personally, I'm not seeing anything impressive about sales so far. Actually, I'm seeing some worrisome signs of of slowing consumer spending, which I just can't figure out. Gas prices are down, why hasn't consumer spending increased? Stagnate wages? Baby Boomers trying to save for their quickly approaching retirement after having savings crunched by the recession? Google taking all of our money?

    Oh, some links:

    (wal-mart & ebay)
    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/hot-s...133607304.html

    (Amazon)
    Amazon Results Miss Estimate, Provides Weak Q4 Sales Guidance; Stock Down 7% - NASDAQ.com
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  3. #2
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I wish I had more stats on the older sites .. Like I now have on my mobile sites.
    I've been trying to figure out the drop in sales also, our traffic is down some but the sales just aren't near the traffic.
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

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  5. #3
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    only the google knows... how much traffic will it share? (or will it let leak out of the matrix)

    lots of people seem to be playing defense these days. not sure how that will affect the holidays.

    superCool is hoping for the best, but hope is not much of a strategy (or so it is said)

    GO US!!


  6. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Saw a report that a number of blue chip eTailers are raising the Free Shipping threshold. To me that means they anticipate lower profits.

    Got a couple merchants who sales are robust. The ebola scare blew up one merchants sales 500% so that one doesn't fit a trend.

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  8. #5
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    Personally, I'm not seeing anything impressive about sales so far. Actually, I'm seeing some worrisome signs of of slowing consumer spending, which I just can't figure out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Lawrence View Post
    I've been trying to figure out the drop in sales also, our traffic is down some but the sales just aren't near the traffic.
    Quote Originally Posted by superCool View Post
    only the google knows... how much traffic will it share? (or will it let leak out of the matrix)

    lots of people seem to be playing defense these days. not sure how that will affect the holidays.
    Yep.

    Yep.

    Yep...
    Last edited by Convergence; October 24th, 2014 at 12:04 PM.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  9. #6
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    The biggest thing I'm seeing so far are that order sizes are much smaller. People just aren't spending as much. That alone can be a big factor in how we all do for the holiday season.

    Good Luck To All!

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  11. #7
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msladybug View Post
    The biggest thing I'm seeing so far are that order sizes are much smaller. People just aren't spending as much.
    I am seeing the same thing.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  13. #8
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Yep...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  14. #9
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    Another thing I'm seeing also is a longer period from the click date to the purchase date of those small item sales.
    Example 1) 9 days from click for a $14.99 pruchase.
    Example 2) another for a $15 purchase over 30 days. ???
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?


  15. #10
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    So here is what worries me with Google. They are pretty intent on capturing all high-converting, high ROI keywords and funneling them through Google Shopping. They have to do this because they also want to funnel a fair amount of low converting, higher volume traffic through Google Shopping to maximize revenue. So in order for merchants to still feel like Google Shopping is "worth it", Google needs to make sure sales still take place. Google Shopping is really a Google license to "print money" because merchants lose control over traffic keywords when they opt into it.

    So, in order to funnel traffic through Google Shopping and not through the natural serps or adwords ads, Google lowers or hides these results on the page and only shows Google Shopping results. The higher converting or more valuable the phrase is, the more likely Google will try to route the traffic through Shopping in order to "prop up" their own price comparison.

    Google's walking a tight rope. They are always trying to figure out how to suck up as much money from advertisers as they can without advertisers "defecting" due to poor ROI. As Google "dials in" the maximum amount of money they can fleece from advertisers, I think our revenue declines.

    I should mention that I've never run a Google "Shopping Campaign", so I'm not super familiar with how it works. It appears that you upload your datafeed, select your bids and negative keywords, but Google selects the keywords that will cause your ads to display. So my impression is that this gives Google a ton of leeway in how they drive traffic to your website. I monitor Google Shopping ads in the SERPS very frequently and I see a lot of stuff like, a user searches for "Widget Version 10" and Google Shopping shows ads for "Widget Version 3", "Green Widgets Version 4", etc..
    Last edited by isellstuff; October 25th, 2014 at 07:58 PM.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  17. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    I think we're seeing the second wave of this recession, personally. Just because things are less expensive to buy does not automatically increase the amount that people have free to spend. They are just shifting to actually paying off all of the necessities (food/gasoline) they were buying on credit before so that they can spend again in the future.
    Erin Walsh,
    Director of PR, [URL="http://bit.ly/1oapxzB"]Boost Affiliates[/URL]

  18. #12
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostAffiliates View Post
    I think we're seeing the second wave of this recession, personally.
    There is definitely something going on and I've worried about another recession. My YOY growth is almost completely gone. The first part of the year was great, now not so much. If this keeps up through the Holidays then I will have negative YOY growth, which would be a big bummer.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  19. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Fortunately I've never "worried" about the 4th quarter.
    We always look forward to January and not get "worked up" over Oct-Dec trends. Our two main revenue avenues are not holiday-centric.
    Last edited by Bill; October 26th, 2014 at 05:30 PM. Reason: TMI - removed narrative so I don't have dupe content on my blog.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  20. #14
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Not thinking it's much to do with the economy - Think a lot of folks took their first real vacations this summer in a long time.

    Think we're in a spending recovery...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  21. #15
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    Guys, there is so much traffic out there, don't get stuck on Google shopping. Yes, google shopping is an awesome platform with quality traffic but there is so much other traffic out there google doesn't control.

    For example:

    - Bing Ads
    - CSE's
    - Contextual Traffic
    - Media buys

    Etc.

    I think the ebola scare will definitely play a role in physical merchant sales, but that should logically boost online sales, helping us generate record numbers online.

    You can even think outside the box, and list products on amazon, sears, etc. And have your products show up in there marketplace.

    Think outside the box, online sales are only growing!

  22. #16
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    I think shoppers are also getting pretty trained to wait until a little later in the season to start their online holiday shopping. We are still a few weeks out from where the Peak season really kicks off for us.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com


  23. #17
    Newbie nydahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostAffiliates View Post
    I think we're seeing the second wave of this recession, personally. Just because things are less expensive to buy does not automatically increase the amount that people have free to spend. They are just shifting to actually paying off all of the necessities (food/gasoline) they were buying on credit before so that they can spend again in the future.
    Got the same feeling about that - recession is not over just because its mentioned on TV - well it is but not in real life.

  24. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Seeing strong sales for seasonal products like snowboard/ski gear. eCigs are selling strong but may still be a new product and lots of smokers trying to quit. Seasonal housewares are doing as well as last year.

    I think the ebola scare will definitely play a role in physical merchant sales, but that should logically boost online sales, helping us generate record numbers online.
    I don't think this will impact general consumer sales one way or another. Those inclined to worry about doom and gloom or economic collapse will buy regardless, but definitely at a higher rate. Still seeing good sales but the scare rush peaked.
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; October 27th, 2014 at 11:18 AM. Reason: typo

  25. #19
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Capital goods orders, excluding aircraft, fell 1.7% in September. So as I mentioned in my first post, businesses are seeing or anticipating a slowdown and are pairing down expenses.

    US durable goods orders down 1.3% in Sept vs up 0.5% expected

    Also, Kohl's just warned and lowered guidance:

    Kohl's warns on earnings, sees softer sales

    This sucks...
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  27. #20
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    And then, consumer confidence comes out really high for October:

    Consumer confidence hits 94.5 in October, versus 87 estimate

    So weird. So let's look for a positive. Convergence said that everyone took vacation and now they are saving for Christmas. I definitely believe that vacations played a big part in the summer slow down. I was selling a house in a hot housing market over the summer and could feel the strain from people on vacation. As soon as vacation time ended, I started getting multiple offers.

    I had a similar theory. Apple took a large chunk of consumer discretionary spending when they released the new iPhones and now people are recovering from the big expenditure. So 10 million phones were sold in the US during the first week. This page says there are 63 million active iPhones in the US, which would be a big chunk of the Internet users in the US:

    • Forecast: iPhone smartphone users in the U.S. 2010-2014 | Forecast

    My wife and I are both going to upgrade next month for the larger screens. I've learned that I need a lot of storage for pictures and video, so we are talking $400 - $500 per person. I think $400 is a big expense that would change spending habits.

    Anyway, that's my Apple slows the economy theory. Combine that with the vacations are expensive theory and maybe, just maybe we will see a big Holiday season?

    Another tidbit. A recent survey said Millennials prefer splurging on electronics and will forgo big purchases on stuff like clothing in order to have the electronics.

    The Shopping Trends of Millennials | witf.org
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  29. #21
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Seems that we get doom and gloom messages every year this time then they come back and game the percentages to say its a banner year. isellstuff, I know this started with you saying your traffic is up but commissions down. Just saying I feel a lot is hype to make numbers look better after the fact. I sincerely hope we have a good and strong Q4.

  30. #22
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Beginning of Summer, I personally:

    Bought two new computer systems for the office
    Added a new server

    In August my Freshman daughter in High School discovered all the up-scale stores at the mall <sigh> Back-to-school shopping tripled <double sigh>

    In September I took my first vacation in six years.


    In October, bought a new cell phone and added a new monthly cell phone plan.

    Next month I'll be adding another computer system for the office as I added a Marketing Assistant.

    Still have to get two new cell phones yet. Two new monthly plans.

    Lots of electronics that won't wait for the Holiday Sales period.

    Don't think I'm much different than most consumers - buying what needs to be bought at the immediate time...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  32. #23
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    The last two weeks have been some of the slowest for our web traffic and even redemptions have been slow, but ytd we are still way up. As far as Vegas goes everyone has been taking a hit which probably relates to disposal income. I've been trying to package products and come up with Holiday specials.
    Quote Originally Posted by msladybug View Post
    The biggest thing I'm seeing so far are that order sizes are much smaller. People just aren't spending as much. That alone can be a big factor in how we all do for the holiday season.

    Good Luck To All!

  33. #24
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuarez86 View Post
    but ytd we are still way up.
    How I am performing YTD depends on my method of accounting. Using the cash method of accounting, I'm doing pretty well. Using the accrual method of accounting, not so much.

    The reason is, of course, is that the accrual method of accounting doesn't take into account Christmas 2013 performance.

    If anyone is wondering the difference between cash and accrual accounting:
    Cash vs. Accrual Accounting | Nolo.com
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  34. #25
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    This is focused on USA. How about global sales?

    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    So, I'm curious how people think the Holiday sales will turn out? I noticed that Wal-Mart, eBay and Amazon published not so rosy guidance for the 4th quarter.

    Personally, I'm not seeing anything impressive about sales so far. Actually, I'm seeing some worrisome signs of of slowing consumer spending, which I just can't figure out. Gas prices are down, why hasn't consumer spending increased? Stagnate wages? Baby Boomers trying to save for their quickly approaching retirement after having savings crunched by the recession? Google taking all of our money?

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