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Bad Weather Linked to Good Sales for Online Merchants

Custora said that despite government data showing overall retail sales declined 0.4% in January year-over-year, its data shows ecommerce sales grew 8% for the month. And the severe winter weather may have something to do with it.

Custora, which help online retailers better understand and market to their customers, analyzes data from over 100 of its ecommerce customers, over 70 million online shoppers and over $10B in ecommerce revenue. Custora customers include Etsy and Fab.

Asked why online retail is looking good early in the year, Custora’s head of marketing Netta Kivilis told EcommerceBytes it’s always hard to pinpoint the reasons driving of such macro trends. But, she said, “One may assume the inclement weather in major parts of the country since the beginning of the year is making more consumers inclined to stay indoors and shop from the comfort of their home.”

Kivilis reported January numbers on the Custora blog. “All key e-commerce indicators exhibited substantial growth in January ’14 compared to January ’13: Traffic to e-commerce stores was up 6%, and the average conversion rate grew to 2.2% (vs 2.1% in 2013). These factors combined resulted in a strong 7% growth in online orders.”

Average Order Value was up in January, growing 1.3% over January 2013. “This indicates that the e-commerce environment remained stable and did not become more promotional and discount-driven compared to last year,” Kivilis said.

So what forms of marketing are working best? In January, Organic search, CPC and email continued to dominate ecommerce, according to Kivilis. “This is similar to 2013, and underscores the importance of a well-balanced multi-channel marketing strategy.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.