Correlation vs. Causation

By: Robert Grosshandler | November 9, 2020

The election season is finally over, holiday season shopping has begun, and my curiousity about our stock price movement and shopping activity is piqued.

Does our stock price going up help motivate people to shop at iConsumer? My gut says that it does. That would be causation. We’re more exciting, people like to get in on a good thing, and it’s a fundamentally optimistic view on things. People like all of those things, and so I believe that an increasing stock price can help boost sales (and commission revenue). By the way, that’s a pretty special thing. For most companies, their stock price movements DON’T affect their revenue prospects.

On the other hand, perhaps our stock price is going up simply because people expect us to do better during the holiday season. That would be correlation. And that would be much more normal.

I like causation better than correlation. Any time we can identify a lever that can be pulled that affects us positively is a good thing. How to pull it may still be difficult, but at least it exists.

As you ponder correlation vs. causation, you should know that we’re coming up on three weeks past our undoing of our pandemic pivot, so I have data to share that may impact your thinking. It certainly impacts mine. As you may recall, in March, as the pandemic began obviously taking a toll on shopping (outside of Amazon, Walmart, and Target), we instituted a rebate that consisted of both cash back and stock back. The third week of October we reverted to solely stock back.

For me, getting back to a singular message about our mission overcame the worry that people would stop using iConsumer. It was a substantial worry (of the losing sleep variety).

I’m very happy to share that, with about three weeks of info under our belts, folks are continuing to use iConsumer, and some have even increased their usage. Amazon continues to do well and members are joining at a nice rate. Phew! We’re still small and need to grow substantially, but we have a base to grow from and to grow with.

A quick recap of what that means for us: When we were doing the cash back rebate, 95% of every dollar of revenue went to our members. We thought, during the uncertainty of the pandemic, that this was the right thing to do. For every $1, we had a nickel with which to pay bills. Not enough by a long shot.

Now, for every $1 of revenue, we have a $1 with which to pay bills, do member recruitment, and generally build the business.

For those of you who worry (as I do) about the accounting effect of folks earning stock (the book loss created, and the ownership dilution that occurs) I remind you (as I remind myself) that at this stage of our growth it is all about cash.

With the thought that it’s all about cash, I’m going to remind you that shopping via iConsumer earns you stock, gets us cash, and generally makes our world a better place. And if you’re going to use Amazon to shop (as so many people do) we earn 3% or so on each and every one of your purchases there.

So, tell friends about iConsumer and go shop (only buying the stuff you can afford, of course.)

After, therefore because…