ChannelAdvisor revenue rises 17 percent in first quarter

E-commerce technology company ChannelAdvisor posted better-than-expected first-quarter results, including a 17 percent jump in revenue.

“As we move through and complete our transition and focus on larger brands and retailers, our momentum continues to build,” CEO David Spitz told analysts during a conference call. “ ... I’m confident that our strategy is beginning to deliver the results we wanted.”

Last year the Morrisville-based company was caught off guard when its revenue growth slowed as consumers moved to larger online retailers, which get a volume discount from the company. ChannelAdvisor responded by overhauling its pricing and payment policies and revamping sales and marketing efforts to focus on larger customer.

The company reported after the markets closed Thursday that revenue for the quarter totaled $26.3 million, up from $22.6 million a year ago. Analysts polled by Bloomberg News were anticipating $25 million in revenue.

The company’ adjusted net loss was $1.1 million, or 4 cents per share, versus a net loss of $6.1 million a year ago. Analysts were expecting a net loss of 17 cents per share.

ChannelAdvisor’s cloud-based software enables retailers to integrate and manage online sales across a multitude of sales channels. Retailers also use its software to automatically advertise products on search engines such as Google and Yahoo and to promote products on Facebook.

Last month the company unveiled a strategic partnership with Wal-Mart that enables ChannelAdvisor customers – retailers and brands – to sell their products through the online Walmart Marketplace.

“Despite the limited availability of Wal-Mart’s marketplace to sellers over the past couple of years, the volumes we’ve seen have been impressive,” Spitz said.” Wal-Mart is already our third-largest marketplace by GMV (gross merchandise value), and in the fourth-quarter of 2015 was our fastest-growing channel on a same-store sales basis by a wide margin.” ChannelAdvisor’s two largest marketplaces are Amazon and eBay.

Although the partnership with Wal-Mart was only recently announced, Spitz said in an interview that the company has been working “behind the scenes” with the giant retailer and a group of early adopters for about two years while Wal-Mart was rebuilding its overall technology platform.

Now, Spitz added, Wal-Mart is prepared to accept thousands of new sellers on its marketplace.

“Although we believe the strategic partnership could be a significant driver of new business and revenue to us,” Spitz told the analysts, “it is difficult to calculate the timing and magnitude of any new benefit.”

Earlier Thursday, ChannelAdvisor shares closed at $12.59, up 9 cents. Its shares have fallen 9 percent this year.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii