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February 12, 2014

January 2014 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for eBay, Amazon, Search and CSE

We've moved our blog! EbayStrategies.blogs.com will eventually be shut down, however the posts will live on. To access this blog post at its new location, click here.

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 the 2014 schedule can be found in this post.  

Welcome to our first Same Store Sales report of 2014.  Today we are releasing January's SSS data for eBay, Amazon, Google Search and Google Shopping.  Overall retail has come in below expectations due to the unusually large number and breadth of winter storms we are experiencing in the US.  In today's report we'll see if the weather is also weighing on e-commerce.  It's also important to remember that November and December were quite unusual because of the shorter holiday and the movement of CyberMonday into December.  Also, comScore has not published their 2014 e-commerce growth forecast, but Q4 came in at 11% so that's the baseline we are using until comScore publishes their forecast for 2014/Q1.

Catalyst 2014 - Amazon, Google and more!

Also, our Catalyst show (March 10-12 in Las Vegas) is filling up so I wanted to remind readers to register ASAP as we have historically hit a sold out situation.  You can learn more and register here.  Plus today we just announced Amazon's SVP of marketplaces - Sebastian Gunningham, will be back and Google will be a big presence as well - more to come on that front, you can expect a lot of surprises this year ;-)

January 2014 SSS Results 

  • Amazon - Amazon's January came in at 14% compared to December's 27.9%, a substantial m/m decrease caused by the holiday December spike. 
  • eBay -  eBay's January came in at 12.7% up a bit  from December's 11%. We have eBay details further down in the report that show what is going on with this marketplace.
  • CSE - Comparison Shopping came in at 12% down from December's 31.1% (driven largely by Google Shopping/PLA)
  • Search - Search came in at 10.3% , an decrease from December's 26.2% y/y growth.  Later in the report we have more search details.

Reviewing these high-level results, it does seem that as is being reported in the broader retail world, the weather is impacting the e-commerce world as well.  We'll be keeping a close eye on how this develops through the rest of the quarter in Feb/March.

SSS Chart 

The following chart details the SSS data for January 2013 through January 2014: (click to enlarge)

Sss_jan_14_macro

This chart clearly illustrates the unusual spikey-ness between Nov/Dec/Jan that we experienced.


eBay Details

eBay's SSS for January was 12.7%.  To get a feel for what is driving the marketplace's performance, here are the interior data points for the month:

  • eBay auctions - Down 10.9% y/y. 
  • eBay fixed-price - Up 14.6% y/y - this was a nice showing for eBay and was the primary driver of the increase from December.  Perhaps eBay enjoyed some re-gifting this year and also continues to benefit from the mobile device upgrade cycle.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) - P+A decelerated a bit in January decreasing to 17.6% from December's 21%. P+A has historically been impacted by weather - it is hard to work on your car when you are in two feet of snow.  At the same time, consumers are going to need wipers, snow tires/chains, etc. so it will be interesting to see if the category starts to climb back into 2014.

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

Sss_jan_14_ebay_details

Supplemental data for Search

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

Sss_jan_14_search

Search SSS increased 10.3% for January and you can see there was a mix of internals that drove that result.

First, clicks are down due to consumers moving to PLA/Google Shopping.  The key driver for the increase with search was a nice increase in the AOV.  This indicates to us that consumers are using PLAs for lower AOV items (as supported by the supplemental data in the next section) and for the more expensive items they are using the Adwords side of the equation to figure things out.

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

In September 2012, we introduced a new set of data around Google Shopping.  Here is the January Google Shopping/Product Listing Ad supplemental data:

Sss_jan_14_google_shopping

 

Overall, Google Shopping came in at 62.8% y/y increase on a SSS.   The Google Shopping/PLA program continues to see strong growth driven by Google showing the ad-unit more frequently as well as increased advertiser adoption and SKU adoption.  We saw a little dip in AOV (driven by retailers loading up their lower ASP items into PLA as they expand their adoption of the program) but you can see conversion rates (CR) improved very nicely - a function of the previously mentioned items plus Google's algorithm(s) improving the consumer experience and showing the 'right product at the right time' which is resulting in a 13.6% increase in the conversion rate.

 

Conclusions 

We hope you are able to use the data provided here to benchmark how your e-commerce channels performed to your peers.  While normally cold weather helps e-commerce, this year we are seeing an unusual amount of snow events which are causing well published shipping delays.  Also, consumers don't start their seasonal Spring shopping (which drives the Sporting goods, P+A and apparel/accessories categories) when they are toughing it through the snow.

Our next SSS post will be in March when we look at the February 2014 data to see if the weather clouds have lifted.

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

 
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