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April 08, 2013

March 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 March  2013 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.  In the world of e-commerce as we look at y/y trends it's important to understand any anomalies in the calendar that can distort (positively or negatively) the data.  March marks the end of the first quarter and gives us a good read on how 2013 is setting up for the world of e-commerce.

Don't forget Catalyst 2013

We are less than thirty days away from our ChannelAdvisor Catalyst show and I wanted to remind everyone that we do have limited space and you need to reserve your spot ASAP. We'll have Devin Wenig from eBay, Sebastian Gunningham from Amazon and execs from Google, Facebook, Groupon and top retailers - plus you can always expect some surprises.  Details can be found at http://www.channeladvisor.com/catalyst2013

March 2013 SSS Results 

  • Amazon - In March, Amazon came in at 31.6% which is a nice tick up from Feb's 30.8%. 
  • eBay -  eBay's SSS for March came in at 19.2% which is a significant rebound from Feb's low point of 8.2% (largely weather driven) and reflects the better consumer+weather environment in March. Further in the report we provide eBay internal component details which provide details on the March results.
  • CSE - Comparison Shopping came in at a 2.4% y/y  positive growth for March.  Traditional CSEs remain under pressure from Google, but Google Shopping/PLAs are doing quite well.  We provide details below.
  • Search - Search came in at up 6.5%, a nice increase from Feb's .5% - there are lot's of moving pieces within search we will highlight in the search details section.

SSS Chart 

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

March_13_sss_overall



eBay Details

eBay's 19.2% SSS result for March is their highest of 2013 and a good bit faster than overall e-commerce (15% per ComScore) and certainly a huge improvement over February's very sluggish  8.2% y/y SSS result.   To get a feel for what is driving the marketplaces' performance, here are the interior datapoints for the month:

  • eBay auctions - Down 6.5% y/y - Believe it or not, this is the best month for auctions we've seen since July 2012.  Auctions have become such a small part of ChannelAdvisor's eBay business and eBay's business, I wouldn't read too much into this, but we'll keep an eye on this and look for any indications that the decline in auction has hit a bottom.
  • eBay fixed-price - Up 24.2% y/y - Fixed price had a nice bump in growth in March to ~10% greater growth rate than e-commerce's 15% growth-rate (per ComScore).
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) - Up 20.9%, as previously mentioned P+A tends to be weather influenced and in March the return to faster than e-commerce growth returned to the category, showing the first green shoots of Spring.  Note that this is the largest growth we've seen in the category for 2013.

Based on the eBay details, essentially every component contributed to the return to larger than e-commerce growth for eBay overall.

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


March_13_sss_ebay_details.jpg



Supplemental data for Search

Here are the March Search internals: (click to enlarge)

March_13_sss_search-details


Search (traditional adwords) increased in March to 6.5% from a Feb decline of .9% . Looking at the internal data, we continued to see cannibalization from PLA/Google Shopping (clicks down 1%), but search CR's ticked up nicely to 3.19% (a 3% bump y/y) along with AOV up 6% which helped generate a positive outcome even in the face of click cannibalization.

Note that google is in the process of rolling out 'Enhanced Campaigns' (EC) which essentially remove the ability to pay less for mobile clicks which historically have not converted as well.  Overall this change is expected to increase mobile clicks, but as retailers move over to EC, they will likely pay more for mobile and thus less for desktop as the two networks blend together.   You can read our full coverage of the EC rollout over on sister site SearchMarketing.com - here's one post.

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

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

March_13_sss_gs_details

So far with Google Shopping/PLAs, things are up and to the right - increasing conversion rates and AOVs continue to drive very strong ROI for this program for retailers.  Most of the improvements are driven by retailers improving their still-early campaigns and figuring out to optimize this new program.   Google is tweaking the program to drive substantial improvements to consumer conversion rates (a 18.6% improvement is quite impressive).

Conclusions 

March delivered a nice recovery from the February speed bumps we saw - particularly for eBay.  With e-commerce growth at 15%, Amazon and eBay's fixed-price growth show that the marketplaces continue to take share from CSEs and search.

We'll have detailed coverage of eBay and Amazon's Q1 results as they are revealed in April and we look forward to seeing everyone at Catalyst!

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.

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