Ecommerce Deals site Zulily files for IPO, publishes operational details, expanding to Canada

Ecommerce Deals site Zulily files for IPO, publishes operational details, expanding to Canada

Zulily, is a popular flash-sales site in the US focused on children’s items. Similar to Beyond The Rack or Gilt except the focus is on the kids industry. Earlier in October it filed for an IPO. In its Form S-1, the company reveals that it had sales surge to $331.2 million last year and given it’s Series D round of funding in late 2012 of $85 million, it has a valuation of about $1 billion.

Is Zulily in Canada? Nope! So why are we writing about them?

Well, they do offer shipping packages for Canadian consumers and their marketing efforts online and through their website shows a specific attempt to court more Canadian consumers. We fully anticipate that once their IPO goes through, part of their funding will be used for international expansion, Canada, the UK and beyond.

If Zulily generated $331.2 million in sales last year, then Canada, following the rule of 10%, should generate about $30 million for Zulily once they have a full operation in this country. They would instantly be the #1 flash deal site in Canada for the kids category….by FAR, and number #2 overall flash site behind Beyond The Rack in Canada. There aren’t many Flash/Private sales eCommerce sites in Canada that have the same scope, breadth, operational power and the financial resources that a Zulily, or any other large Flash sales site would have once they enter Canada.

The success of Zulily (despite their operating loss) should be seen both as an opportunity for the sector to grow in Canada, and as a warning for Canadian based flash/private sales services to prepare themselves for what will most certainly be an onslaught of American based ecommerce sites launching in Canada over the next few years. Brick Retailers such as Target, Macy’s Bloomingdales, Marshalls, Dicks, Saks, and several others are already expanding into Canada either by opening retail stores or expanding their online presence in this country. ECommerce options for Canadians from popular American companies will continue over the next few years.

Here are some of highlights from Zulily’s Form S-1. If you are a daily deal or flash sale site in Canada, then some of the following stats may be rather interesting to you to compare against your own operations.

  • As of June 30, zulily has sold more than 42 million items to more than 2.9 million customers.
  • As of June 30, the company had 2.2 million active customers (i.e., customers who made at least one purchase in the last year), up 93.1 percent from the 1.2 million active customers it had on July 1, 2012.
  • For the 12 months ended June 30, zulily generated $214 of revenue per active customer, up 10.9 percent from $193 of revenue per customer during the 12 months ended July 1, 2012.
  • For the 12 months ended June 30, 82.9 percent of U.S. orders were placed by previous customers, up from 79.1 percent during the 12 months ended July 1, 2012.
  • In the second quarter of 2013, about 42 percent of U.S. orders were placed from a mobile device.
  • In 2012, zulily reported $331.2 million in net sales, up 132.4 percent from 2011; and a net loss of $10.3 million, an improvement from a net loss of $11.3 million in 2011.
  • In the six months ended June 30, the company reported $272.0 million in net sales, up 114.2 percent from the same period last year; and a net loss of $2.4 million, an improvement from a net loss of $6.2 million in the same period last year.
  • The company had 886 employees as of June 30, up from 329 on Dec. 31, 2011.
  • Children’s apparel is the company’s biggest merchandise category, though all non-children’s apparel categories combined accounted for 53 percent of zulily’s U.S. units ordered in the six months ended June 30, up from 45 percent in 2012.
  • In the second quarter of 2013, zulily says approximately 42 percent of its U.S. orders were placed from a mobile device, up from approximately 39 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and up from approximately 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • In the six months ended June 30, 76 percent of the company’s U.S. daily website visitors came from email or mobile push communications, or other unpaid sources (e.g., direct traffic and search).
  • In the six months ended June 30, zulily’s average order value was $53.23.
  • Zulily’s average order-to-ship time in the second quarter of 2013 was 10.6 days.