Some of the largest US retailers have been pointing to a weaker consumer market in recent months, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case for e-commerce giant Amazon, who’s expected to post another quarter of healthy sales growth during its earnings report on Thursday.
And that may be a sign of retailers facing a more secular trend called an “Amazon problem,” according to Scot Wingo, the executive chairman of ChannelAdvisor, an e-commerce software and analysis company.
“If all these guys (large retailers) are complaining about softness in the consumer, and Amazon is not seeing it, maybe they have more of an ‘Amazon problem,’ than a ‘consumer problem,'” Wingo told Business Insider.
Wingo pointed to Amazon’s same store sales (SSS) numbers, a metric created by ChannelAdvisor, which tracks the annual sales growth of 3rd party sellers on Amazon’s electronics and general merchandise (EGM) segment. It’s considered a strong barometer of Amazon’s sales growth because almost 80% of Amazon’s retail sales come from the EGM market, which is also the fastest growing segment in Amazon’s retail business.
Wingo said he expects a 24.7% growth in Amazon’s SSS this quarter, a much higher rate than comScore’s 15% growth projection for the general e-commerce market in the same quarter. The normal retail sales are growing at a much lower 3% to 4% rate, he said.
“That means Amazon is taking share from e-commerce as well as general retail,” Wingo said. “What’s important about Amazon is, you have the largest online retailer, and you’re growing around twice the rate of e-commerce.”
There are some caveats to ChannelAdvisor’s SSS numbers though. It only tracks third-party sales, leaving out Amazon’s first-party sales numbers, which Wingo says accounts for roughly 40% of its total retail sales. Yet, Wingo stressed that SSS is a number closely tracked by Wall Street analysts too, as market research firms RBC Capital Markets and Trefis did in recent notes.
“Historically our numbers have given a good indication of where the EGM sales is, which gives a good view of how the biggest piece of Amazon is doing,” Wingo added.
Amazon’s growth comes at a time when some of the largest US retailers have posted lowered guidance and weak earnings reports. Walmart, for example, cut its EPS guidance by nearly 12% next year, causing the largest one-day drop in share price last week. Macy’s saw its EPS drop 20% year over year in its most recent earnings. Both companies pointed to weaker consumer markets for the drop.
Amazon will post its latest earnings at 1PM PST on Thursday. Wall Street analysts expect Amazon to report $US24.9 billion in revenue, a 21% growth year-over-year, and a loss of $US0.13 a share.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.