Amazon Q3 Results Preview (for Sellers!)

October 24, 2013

ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

Amazon reports its Q3 2013 results after the bell today (October  24, 2013).  So far eBay‘s results were mixed and their Q4 forecast was tepid, but Google had very strong results across the board.  comScore published their Q3 e-commerce growth rate as 13.2% down slightly from Q2’s 15.5% y/y growth rate.

The following table details the key seller-oriented metrics we track in Amazon’s results  that we think most illustrate how not only Amazon is doing, but most importantly for readers of this blog, the health of the third-party (3P) marketplace. (click to enlarge)

Amazon_q3_dashboard

Reading through the Wall St. reports, the key metrics this Q:

  • Paid unit growth – This metric has been trending down as Amazon deals with scale – last Q was 29%.  Any acceleration would be very positive.
  • 3P mix – We’ve been hovering at 40% here for a while – last Q Amazon mentioned that it is 43% ex-digital items, so digital growth (ebooks, mags, and apps) are creating a headwind for the metric.
  • 3P unit growth – Historically 3P has been growing almost 2X as fast as 1P, will that continue this Q?
  • Active users – By my math, Amazon will need 224m to keep up the 19% y/y growth rate in active user growth.
  • fulfilment – Amazon has been announcing new FCs at a rapid pace (Czech, Poland, UK mini-FCs, Wisconsin, NJ, Baltimore, etc.)
  • International trends – Amazon has a lot of exposure to Japan, UK, and Continental Europe so it is always interesting to see how they are doing in those regions.

Conclusion

 We’ll be publishing our detailed analysis Friday morning after the dust settles on Amazon’s Q3 announcement.  Stay tuned!