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September 11, 2013

August 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 August 2013 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.  August is seasonally a slow month for e-commerce and is the middle of the third quarter which includes Back-to-School (B2S) and tees us up for fourth quarter.  According to comScore, non-travel e-commerce grew 16% in Q2, so we use that as a baseline for e-commerce growth.

August 2013 SSS Results 

  • Amazon - In August, Amazon came in at 24%, which is a slight decrease from July's 24.9%, but still significantly above  the rate of e-commerce growth (as reported by comScore).  
  • eBay -  eBay's SSS for August came in at 18.9%, which is also a slight decrease from July's 20.4% but is still above the rate of e-commerce growth  . Further in the report we provide eBay internal component details, which provide details on the August results.
  • CSE - Comparison Shopping came in at a healthy 7.7% y/y   growth for August, an slight decrease from July's 12.9%.  Google Shopping continues to show strength in this category helping offset headwinds from traditional CSEs.
  • Search - Search came in at 0.2% y/y growth, down a bit from July's 0.6%.  Further in the report we have search details.

Together, these datapoints show that in August, all e-commerce channels performed relatively consistently with July's start to Q3.

SSS Chart 

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

8_13_sss_overall


eBay Details

eBay's 18.9% SSS result for August was just nicely ahead of  e-commerce growth.  To get a feel for what is driving the marketplaces' performance, here are the interior datapoints for the month:

  • eBay auctions - Up 7.8% y/y. Long term readers may be shocked at this, because it is the first positive datapoint for auctions since we have been tracking this data (early 2011).  While auctions are a small part of our dataset given eBay's focus on FP and the tough performance for the last several years, this is an interesting and perhaps important datapoint.  Digging into the data, what we see is those sellers that have auctions are the focus of their business were up significantly y/y.  What seems to be happening is a change in the search behavior.  Perhaps Cassini is helping auctions surface that were once passed over due to un-indexed terms in the descriptions or eBay has tweaked the 'share' of auctions/fp in Cassini/BestMatch to some degree.  What leads us to vote on the first (Cassini surfacing listings) is the fact that FP did not decline which would have indicated a bit of cannibalization.  The incrementality makes us believe that there is an underlying improvement in conversion rates.  Look at the next graph to get a feeling for how significant this is for the auction trend line.
  • eBay fixed-price - Up 20.2% y/y - Fixed price had another strong  showing in August (in-line with July) growing faster than e-commerce.  
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) - P+A decelerated in August quite a bit to 18.5% y/y growth vs. July's 26.6% y/y growth.  The two biggest needle movers for auto parts are the weather (snow/rain=bad, sun=good) and new car sales (slow new car sales = good, strong new car sales = bad).  August wasn't particularly rainy, but new car sales were on fire according to the mainstream press (example: LA Times article)

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

8_13_sss_ebay_details.jpg

Supplemental data for Search

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

8_13_sss_search_details

Search (traditional AdWords) was up 0.2% in August  - a decrease from July .   Looking at the internal data, we see the cannibalization from PLA/Google Shopping in the clicks metric which was down 3%. Search CR's were flat  y/y. AOV was also up slightly to 8% which helped generate a flat outcome even in the face of PLA/GS click cannibalization.  CPC's declined y/y.

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

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

8_13_gs_details

Google Shopping AOV declined 14.6% y/y as more retailers come into the program, they are bringing a wider assortment of goods along with them.  Impressively conversion rates continue to increase up 5.2% to 2.35% reflecting Google's improvements in the program.

 

Conclusions 

Our SSS data from August indicates that e-commerce followed the same trends we saw in July/Q2.  Marketplaces outperformed e-commerce, search and CSE continued to grow more slowly than e-commerce.  Google PLA/GS took share from overall search.  The eBay Auction datapoint was interesting as was the eBay Motors P+A data point - we will be watching those closely in September to see if the trends continue.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor.


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