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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2193 - January 04, 2010 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 5

Infopia Ends 2009 with Positive Growth

By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com
January 04, 2010




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Infopia said 2009 has seen some of the heaviest volume days it has seen as a company, and reported between 12-13 percent same-store sales growth for customers in 2009. Infopia CEO Coleman Barney said the holiday shopping season shaped up quite nicely for his customers, with daily same-store sales growing between 14% on the slowest day, to as high as 44% on the highest volume day since Thanksgiving. For the year, eBay continues to make-up a sizable portion of sales revenue but the fastest growth was from Amazon, then on merchants' own storefronts, followed by eBay.

Channel

Infopia Merchants Same-Store Sales Year-over-Year Growth Fourth-Quarter 2009

Own Storefronts

43%

Amazon.com

44%

eBay

10%

Source: Infopia

Mr. Barney said many of Infopia's customers sell on eBay, and the company will continue to support eBay features. However, as merchants mature, they seek to broaden their channels. Some merchants report that eBay is changing the way they do things and believe the company is trying to do too much. Merchants wish to "own their own future" by opening their own websites and look at alternative channels.

eBay is also seeing more competition, Mr. Barney said, through Google merchant services as well as retailers including Wal-Mart and Kmart. However, large retail sites who open up to third-party sellers will move slowly, and he does not anticipate much third-party activity on these sites until 2011.

How are merchants driving sales to their own storefronts? The number one method is through Google and paid search, followed by organic search and SEO, and then by email marketing. Infopia, which offers its own email service as well as partnering with Vertical Response, will be rolling out a customer segmentation feature in January. The feature will allow merchants to understand who bought what product and understand seasonal and pricing factors. This capability will allow merchants to utilize email marketing more effectively, he said.

As for the company itself, Infopia faced a lot of the same issues a lot of companies faced in this economy, with forecasts not fulfilled due to the economic downturn. Mr. Barney said Infopia had to restructure its cost base and finished that by the end of May. "We right-sized the company to fit with where the economy was going," he said.

Forrester Research had predicted 11% growth in eCommerce sales in 2009, and the first two quarters were flat, "a pretty big miss," Barney said. "We did re-forecasting and our investors signed up and gave us backing. We consistently out-performed the forecast since mid-year, and focused on becoming a better company. We are ending the year on a strong note with record-breaking volume throughout December," he said.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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