Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Business is booming online with e-commerce services provider ChannelAdvisor cashing in. The venture capital-backed company just posted another strong quarter, adding some high-profile customers as more and more retailers attempt to expand their offerings beyond brick and mortar.

The Skinny traded questions with ChannelAdvisor founder and Chief Executive Officer Scot Wingo in order to get the inside scoop not only on what’s happening at his firm but across e-commerce.

1. The economy is slowing, especially in the US, but your sales and client count are growing. What are the primary reasons?

The global e-commerce has continued to grow and is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2014. Consumers are increasingly going online to find better deals and a better selection of products, and with free shipping being offered by many online retailers, it often less expensive and more convenient to shop online.

2. You have competitors yet you are winning more, high-profile clients. How are you differentiating yourself?

We’ve got competitors in each channel, but there is not one competitor that offers the same range of products that we do – we’re the only company that enables retailers to manage their e-commerce across multiple channels from a single interface. That multichannel capability and control is a real differentiator that retailers desire.

We are also seeing an uptick in retailers that want to expand globally, and we’ve got the infrastructure in place to make that growth seamless.

Also, today we power a third of the Internet Retailer 500 (a list of the top online retailers). Retailers see that we support so many of the top, household names in e-commerce and there’s a comfort level of going with a proven provider. It’s a very easy, safe choice to work with ChannelAdvisor when we power so many of the industry leaders.

3. You have job openings and are continuing to hire. Why? What skillsets are you looking for, not just programming but personal as you seek to expand your team and culture?

We are continuing to build our team as we expand globally, so we’re looking for talented individuals in a variety of different areas from professional services to sales to engineering, so the skillsets vary but the core principles remain the same.

We’ve got a great culture at ChannelAdvisor – a young, vibrant team of people who are incredibly bright, passionate, driven and really thrilled to be in such a dynamic global market. We’re working hand-in-hand with global giants like Amazon, Google, eBay, Facebook and others. It’s an exciting space.

4. You have been paying more attention to Facebook with your Commerce blog. Is growth continuing there, and if so how does ChannelAdvisor capitalize?

Facebook now has some 750 million active users, so yes; there is definitely a lot of potential there.

We are still watching this space very closely and we still believe that Facebook Commerce will become an essential channel to retailers in the next few years.

5. What are the biggest growth sectors right now?

Amazon continues to be a big force in e-commerce; in fact our customers experienced same-store sales year-over-year growth of approximately 79 percent on Amazon in the second quarter. Google too is maintaining a strong position with both its paid search and its comparison shopping channel, Google Product Search.

6. Where is business slowing? Are auction sites losing ground, and is comparison shopping a reason?

Auction sites have continued to lose share to fixed-price listings for the past few years, so that trend doesn’t appear to be changing. Comparison shopping engines (CSEs) have been hit pretty hard by Google’s recent algorithm change that lowers the ranking of sites that publish duplicate content, which includes many CSEs.

We’re suggesting that retailers continue to diversify their e-commerce strategy to mitigate any backlash from changes like this.

7. Are you back to pre-layoff/recession numbers now? What is employee total company wide and in RTP?

We have expanded our staff to more than 300 employees globally and continue to emphasize our global expansion.

8. Is ChannelAdvisor looking to make any acquisitions?

Not at the moment.

9. Are you seeking any additional financing?


10. Are you profitable or cash-flow positive? If so, for how long?

We are not currently disclosing this data.

(Well, on question 10, at least we asked.)

Read more about ChannelAdvisor’s recent quarter here.

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