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February 12, 2013

January 2013 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for eBay, Amazon, Search and CSE

Note: This is a monthly feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.

Today we are releasing January 2013 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.  January is always interesting because not only is it the first month of the year, it can be heavily impacted by the prior year's Holiday sales as well as weather.

January 2013 SSS Results  

  • Amazon - In January, Amazon had a very solid 34.3% growth rate up from December's 29.8%.  We had detailed coverage of Amazon's Q4 results on sister site AmazonStrategies in a three part series: (Part I: Overview/highlights, Part II: 3P deep dive, Part III: Fulfillment deep dive). Also, be sure to checkout the details on Amazon's international business they revealed in their annual report we dug up here.
  • eBay -  eBay's SSS for January came in at 18.8%, our lowest report since January 2012.  eBay had a very strong Q4, so it's no surprise to see them take a bit of a breather in January. We had detailed Q4 analysis for eBay here and further in this report we look into the eBay Internal components we measure (fp, auction, parts, etc.) 
  • CSE - Comparison Shopping came in at a robust 7.9% y/y positive growth for January.  The growth in this category continues to be driven by Google Shopping.
  • Search - Search was 1% as it seems to be coming back from the cannibalization due to Google Shopping/CSE.

SSS Chart 

The following chart details the SSS data for January 2012 through January 2013: (click to enlarge)

Jan_13_sss_overall


eBay Details

eBay's January  18.8% y/y SSS growth was a dip from the last 12 months.  To get a feel for what's driving the marketplaces' performance, here are the interior datapoints for the month:

  • eBay auctions - Down 18.1% y/y - Auctions continued their decreases in January.  Same story here we've been seeing for the last couple of years, so this was not really a contributor.
  • eBay fixed-price - Up 26.9% y/y - January's fixed-price data was about average for what we saw in 2012 and substantially higher than last January's 18% y/y increase (11/12) we saw, so eBay continues to make great progress on this focus area.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) - Up 20.7%, which is one of the slowest measurements we've seen since December 2011.  As mentioned, P+A tends to be weather influenced.  Also, 20.7% growth in a 14% e-commerce world is nothing to be too worried about.

Based on the eBay details, the softness in P+A drove the bulk of the slowness and based on our experience is weather related, so should rebound once we get through to Spring.

 Here are the TTM (trailing twelve month) trends on these eBay internals.  

Jan_13_sss_ebay_details


Supplemental data for Search

Here are the January Search internals:

Jan_13_sss_search_details

Search (adwords/bing) saw a substantial decline in clicks due to the cannibalization from Google Shopping.  However, conversion rates increased nicely (those that do still click on search are converting better because they couldn't find what they were looking for  in GS). and those counterbalancing impacts caused the decrease of only 1%.

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

In August 2012, we introduced a new set of data around Google Shopping.  Here is the January Google Shopping supplemental data:

Jan_13_sss_googleshopping_details

The program seems to be out of the 'early adopter' phase and we are seeing CRs stabilize and increase a good bit in January from a y/y perspective - this is obviously significantly lower than the holiday's > 3% conversion rate, but we believe the Y/Y comparison is the best way to look at this to strip out seasonality.  The addition of merchants plus their products married with Google's improvements to their algorithms also drove the AOV up 7/8% to $102.36.  When you have AOV and CR moving up simultaneously, that's a multiplicative effect, so this bodes well for Google's ad spend on the program.

 

Conclusions 

January was a good start to 2013.  Amazon came in particularly strong, followed by eBay's fixed price business.  The Google Product Search -> Google Shopping transition is reaching maturity and we are seeing stabilization across both CSE and Search thanks to that.

Everyone have a great Valentine's day and remember - it's always a great idea to shop online!

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor. I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.

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