Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of WRAL.com.
MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Fresh off another record-breaking holiday shopping season, privately held e-commerce services provider is looking to increase its work force by some 20 percent this year.
The venture-backed firm, which in the winter of 2008 sliced 19 percent of its 290-person global work force, is looking to add 60 people. The new hires follow an increase in hiring launched last August, when Chief Executive Scot Wingo set out to hire 30 people in time for the 2009 holiday rush.
The additional people came in handy, as ChannelAdvisor set a fourth consecutive record for what it calls GMV – gross merchandise value. The company earns its revenues based largely on a share of sales made by its customers that use ChannelAdvisor for just-in-time inventory management and other tools.
“For ChannelAdvisor, 2009 was a fantastic and transformative year as we achieved our profitability goal of becoming EBITDA [earnings before income tax, depreciation, amortization] positive,” Wingo said about his hiring plans.
“We’re the most efficient we’ve ever been and have set the stage for solid, profitable growth in 2010 as we continue to meet rising demand for our services,” he added, noting that ChannelAdvisor added more than 200 customers last year.
As Wingo told LTW when the holiday rush began last Thanksgiving weekend, the records being set are only the tip of the e-commerce potential.
“There is still quite a bit of room for growth in e-commerce,” Wingo said. “Right now, online retail only accounts for 3 to 4 percent of retail sales, so we see tremendous opportunity for continued growth.”
The growth in sales came despite the global recession, which gave Wingo a pleasant surprise.
“Gross merchandise value did exceed expectations,” he said. “Given the recession, we’d expected things to be flat this year, so growth is definitely a positive.”
For the last quarter of 2009, ChannelAdvisor recorded more than $800 million in GMV.
Helping drive the surge was an explosion of more than 70 percent growth from Amazon.com.
According to Wingo, ChannelAdvisor is now the “largest third-party integrator on Amazon.” Given how that company continues to become the Walmart of the online world, ChannelAdvisor’s feat is huge.
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