evaluating online retailers using alternative data
Investor Intelligence

3 Steps for Using Alternative Data to Evaluate Online Retailers

by Liat Piazza , Investor Insights Manager 2 Min.
December 9, 2019 | Updated August 2, 2022

Although many shoppers still use brick and mortar retailers recent years have shown a clear trend in the rise in popularity of online shopping. Read below for three simple steps on how to evaluate online retailers using alternative data.

1. Non-bounced visits to determine market share

What are non-bounced visits?

Non-bounced visits are visits to a site that go past the landing page. We use this as a metric to determine market share as this number will take out the noise of visits that arrive at a site and then leave immediately, otherwise known as a bounced visit.

By using alternative data you can look at the number of non-bounced visits to a site compared to its competitors, which provides insight into the respective online market shares of each site. Below we can see that poshmark.com has the highest online market share in the US compared to other luxury retailers therealreal.com, tradesy.com and saksfifthavenue.com.

2. Incoming Traffic to determine brand awareness

Users arrive at sites through different means, sometimes they arrive directly at a site through typing the URL (direct traffic), other times they search for a site, or for items that direct them to the site (organic search). In addition Some sites use paid searches in order to rank highly in user searches and increase traffic to their sites (paid search).

Using alternative data allows you to explore the percentage of visits to a site resulting from each of these incoming traffic channels provides us with an indication of how strong a brand’s strength is. For example a site that has a high number of monthly visits of which 90% arrive from paid search, is an indication of a weak brand, as the site had to pay for 90% of the visits it received. On the contrary sites that receive a high number of monthly visits of which a large percentage arrive both directly and from organic search is an indication of a strong brand.

Below we see that the majority of traffic to therealreal.com in the US between January 2017 and October 2018 arrived directly and from organic search, indicating a strong brand strength. We also see that traffic arriving from these channels is increasing whilst traffic from paid search is declining, suggesting that the strength of the brand is growing.

3. International Expansion

After exploring market share and brand strength of a site in its domestic market you can also use alternative data to discover the share of visits to a site in other key markets, providing insight into how well a company is expanding internationally, if at all.

Below we see that the US has consistently accounted for approximately 80% of visits to therealreal.com between January 2018 and October 2019. This suggests that the company is not expanding internationally.

To Summarise

We hope the above steps are helpful in understanding how to use alternative data to evaluate online retailers. Using Similarweb you can create your own digital insights, and explore even deeper evaluations of online retailers.

Discover how to use alternative data to evaluate other sectors.

Learn more on Alternative Data – What is Alternative Data And How Can it Benefit Your Investment Process?

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