The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
Fourth quarter web sales declined 5.5% for the auto parts retailer.
E-commerce and total sales for auto parts retailer U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc. decreased in the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year ended Dec. 28, 2013. The retailer’s net loss, however, shrunk significantly in the fourth quarter compared with the prior year.
For the fourth quarter, U.S. Auto Parts Network, No. 89 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:
- Online sales of $53.3 million, down 5.5% from $56.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Online sales accounted for 89.3% of total sales compared with 89.8% a year earlier, the retailer says.
- Offline sales, including the retailer’s wholesale business and private-label merchandise, were flat at $6.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Offline sales represent about 10.7% of total sales, the company says.
- Total sales decreased 4.9% to $59.7 million in Q4 2013 from $62.8 million in the same period last year.
- Net loss was $1.3 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $30.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
- Conversion rate was 1.52% compared with 1.41% last year.
- Total orders were 436,000, down 15.2% from 514,000 in Q4 2012.
- Average order value was $109 compared with $108 last year.
- Unique visitors declined 21.1% to 28.8 million from 36.5 million.
The retailer acknowledged that its branded business is not keeping up with industry standards, largely because of negative traffic trends over the last two years. “Additionally, we had historically been premium-priced in the market for branded products, but even with that premium pricing experienced growth rates in our branded business,” says CEO Shane Evangelist. “However, as the branded business and the market in general have become more transparent online, our ability to be premium priced has diminished.”
The company is encouraged by its growing private-label and wholesale business and believes it is in a strong position to compete moving forward. “We will add somewhere between 4,000 to 5,000 private label SKUs this year and believe we can continue that sourcing trend going forward,” Evangelist says.
For the full year 2013, the retailer reported:
- Total sales decreased 16.2% to $254.8 million in 2013 from $304.0 million the prior year.
- Net loss was $15.6 million compared with $36.0 million in 2012.