Dataset Name: alpha_scientist_ecommerce_price_index
Vendor: Alpha Scientist Inc.
Data Starts at: 2019-12-01 00:00:00
Symbol Set: Custom
Asset Class: Equity
Data Update Time(s): Sundays, 00:00:00 EST
Data Update Frequency: week
Alpha Scientist eCommerce Price Index
Inflation data has become a top market-moving event. With the abrupt shifts in consumers’ preferences, supply chain disruptions, and spiking input costs, understanding the contours of inflation has become one of the most important aspects of both macro and stock picking investors.
The eCommerce Price Index dataset offers a better way to track changes to consumer goods, as they happen. By taking daily snapshots of pricing and popularity of more than 40,000 top-selling products on Amazon.com, our data delivers a more precise, accurate, and timely approach to measuring inflation trends:
- Precise – the dataset is capable of estimating “top line” inflation for a broad basket, but also can highlight differences between narrow product categories (e.g., kid’s shampoo, cordless drills)
- Accurate – as the world’s largest retailer, Amazon represents about 10% of total retail in the US. Drawing on this massive data panel allows for maximum accuracy.
- Timely – Amazon’s famously sophisticated dynamic pricing engine is continuously updating prices on most products to find market-clearing price. The continuously updated pricing, combined with our multiple snapshots each day, result in a highly responsive leading indicator for “street pricing” of goods.
The eCPI Category Index can be used for two primary use cases:
First, the data can help in "nowcasting" broad economic measures like the BLS Consumer Price Index. With prices tracked multiple times per day, the dataset can spot upticks in “street pricing” on a huge catalog of goods well in advance of releases of government inflation data. In addition to offering greater frequency and timeliness of updates, Amazon’s product popularity data provides a more dynamic picture of the consumer’s true spending basket.
Second, eCPI data can be used to understand inflation trends at the category level. Supply chain disruptions and shifts in consumer preferences have resulted in very non-uniform impacts on pricing, even for products in a single CPI category. Applying an aggregate average to a company focused on a specific sub-category can lead to wildly misleading analysis. With more than 40,000 unique products tracked each day, this data can more precisely identify trends in the most relevant product categories possible.