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September 10, 2014

August 2014 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for eBay, Amazon, Search, CSE and other e-commerce channels

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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.  

Today we are releasing August 2014 SSS data for eBay, Amazon,Google Search and Google Shopping/PLA.  ComScore recently reported that US e-commerce grew at 11.8% y/y for the desktop which translates to 13.1% y/y with mobile included so that is the baseline for 2014 growth.  

 Here are the y/y SSS results for August 2014, the middle month of Q3 and the critical 'back to school' period:

August 2014 SSS Results 

  • Amazon - Amazon's August SSS came in at 45.1%, an increase compared to July's 40.4% .  Amazon has increased its y/y growth rate every month so far in 2014 - a very impressive performance and August kept that trend alive.  We have Amazon details further in the report.
  • eBay -  eBay's August came in at 5.9% down from July's 9.7% and well below the e-commerce growth rate. This is the lowest SSS result for eBay since Feb 2011.  Further in the report, we have details of the eBay internals.
  • Other 3PM -3PM continued strong growth in August coming in at 24.2%.  While this is a decrease from the 39% recorded in July, these channels are a bit more volatile in m/m performance than larger more established channels.  @24.2%, they are growing 10% greater than e-commerce which is quite impressive.
  • CSE - Comparison Shopping Engines came in at 21.1% for August up from July’s 9.5%.  This was largely driven by strength in Google Shopping / PLA (details later).
  • Search - Search came in at 13.6% for August an increase from July’s 7% y/y growth.  Later in the report we have more search details.

 

 SSS Chart 

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

Aug_14_sss_main


eBay Details

eBay's SSS for August was 5.9%.  To get a feel for what is driving the marketplace's performance, here are the interior data points for the month:

  • eBay auctions - Down 11% y/y. 
  • eBay fixed-price - Up 6.9% y/y - a decrease from July’s 12.8%, which puts this key part of eBay growing about half the pace of e-commerce.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) - P+A  was up slightly  in August coming in at 8.4% compared to July’s 8.0%.  This brings P+A's growth rate below e-commerce and is the slowest SSS we have recorded since February 2013's 6.8%.

Looking at the data, we saw weakness in the golf category (details later) and also the electronics category.  Digging into this, what we are seeing is big y/y declines in those categories for sellers with used items.  As we've covered in detail on this blog, the new eBay Defect Rate (eDR) is now active.  It seems a consequence of this new system is that sellers of used/refurbished items are having to significantly reduce their inventory and it has created a headwind on SSS for August.  Note that our customer base most likely over-indexes for this category of sellers.

Interestingly, Amazon has added several features to embrace the used/refurb category and we are seeing a clear share move from eBay to Amazon in this category.

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

     
Aug_14_sss_ebay_details

Amazon Details

Aug_14_sss_amazon_details

In June 2014, we released two new data points around FBA:

  • Percent FBA - This measures the % of Amazon GMV through the ChannelAdvisor system that was fulfilled through FBA and tracks it on a y/y basis.  For August 2014, 35.4% of Amazon GMV was FBA.  That was up from August 2013 where 31.5% of the GMV was FBA.  That's a 12.2% increase y/y in FBA as a % of GMV.  
  • %FBA non Amazon - Here we look at the total bucket of FBA-driven GMV and look at the % that was not fulfilled for Amazon sales (website, other 3PMs, Search, CSE, etc.).  In August 2013, 1.4% was non-Amazon fulfilled.  Then in August 2014, we saw this grow 36% to 1.9%.

It will be interesting to track how these FBA related metrics change as we head into the ever-critical holiday period.

Supplemental data for Search

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


Aug_14_sss_search_details


Note: these are all y/y SSS comparisons (August 2014 vs. August 2013).

Search SSS increased 13.6% for August.  The search increase from July to August was driven by  increases in AOV which was up to $146.50, a 7% y/y increase and Conversion Rate (CR) improved 11% to 3.08%.   CPC was down 6% due to the headwind of mobile traffic.  Total cost was down 22% because of the decrease in CPC but also because clicks were  down 18%.  In summary, our customers bought fewer clicks, paid less, but they were higher performing clicks because they resulted in y/y 13.6% growth in sales because of the CR and AOV improvements.

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

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

Aug_14_sss_pla_details

 

Overall, Google Shopping came in at 54.3% y/y increase, an increase from July's 40.8%.   The Conversion rate was down 2.6% to 2.29%, but AOV offset the CR headwind with a strong 24.5% y/y increase coming in at $118.26.  Looking at the data, it appears that PLAs are now also feeling the mobile conversion rate headwinds from mobile traffic and Google is counteracting that by showing higher priced items.

 Golf update

In May we provided a look into the golf category that has been quite popular with our golf customers.  In August, we saw eBay decline to 5.8% y/y SSS compared to July's 7.9%.  Conversely Amazon accelerated to 63.1% in August, up from July's 42.8%.  The used/refurb product is a 25-33% chunk of the golf category and the trends we mentioned in the eBay details section (eBay pushing away used/refurb, Amazon embracing) were reflected in the golf data as well.

Aug_14_golf_category_tracker

Conclusion 

August was a mixed bag for the channels we track. While Amazon, Google Shopping/CSE, Search and other 3PMs grew in-line / faster than the e-commerce baseline, eBay's 5.9% SSS y/y growth was less than half the rate of e-commerce. Back to School continues into September, so stay tuned!

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

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