August 2016 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS)

September 12, 2016

ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

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 2016 schedule can be found in this post.  

August 2016 y/y SSS Results 

Here are the ChannelAdvisor SSS results for August 2016:

  • Amazon – Amazon’s August SSS came in at 10.5%,  an increase compared to July’s 6.4% and below the 15% e-commerce growth rate as predicted by comScore. Further in the report, we look at Amazon details and FBA adoption rates.
  • eBay –  eBay’s August SSS came in at 5.9%,  an increase from July’s 3.5%  and below the e-commerce growth rate of 15.0%.  Further in the report, we have details of the eBay internals.
  • Other 3PM -Non eBay and Amazon marketplaces for August came in at 37.7%, a decrease from July’s 53.3%. 
  • Google Shopping/PLA – GS came in at 43.1% y/y growth for August, an increase from July’s 34.3%.  Google Shopping details are provided later in the report.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines came in at 19.2% for August, an increase (largely driven by PLA) from July’s 16.8%.  
  • Search – Search (Google AdWords and Bing/Yahoo! AdCenter) came in at negative 2.6% for August, a slight decrease from July’s negative 1.3%.  We provide more search details later in the report.

SSS Chart 

The following chart details the SSS data for August 2015 through August 2016: (click to enlarge.)


eBay Details

eBay’s SSS for August were 5.9%.  To get a feel for what drove the marketplace’s performance, here are the interior data points for the month:

  • eBay auctions – August’s eBay auction SSS were negative 15.9% y/y, an improvement from July’s  negative 17.2%.
  • eBay fixed-price – Came in at 3.1% y/y in August – an increase from July’s 1.4%.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – P+A  for August was 13.9% – an increase from July’s 9.6%.  eBay Motors P+A continued to be the bright spot in the eBay SSS results, growing fastest of all the eBay components and coming in close to the e-commerce growth rate.

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


Amazon Details

We have received a lot of questions about the growth rate of Amazon’s public results (as of Q2 2016, Amazon’s EGM (electronics and other general merchandise) grew 34% and August Amazon SSS was 10.5% for example).  Looking at the data, what we are seeing in the last ~6 months is a dramatic increase in the competitive cadence in the Amazon third-party (3P) space.  This seems to be most adversely impacting longer-tenured sellers with new entrants effectively taking share.  In our SSS methodology, this new dynamic has created a headwind on Amazon SSS that is not reflected in Amazon’s ‘all in’ (not SSS) reporting of EGM.  For more details, we point you to our annual post that details our SSS methodology and why in many cases is it not an approximation for Amazon’s results here.

For example, we looked at a sample of sellers in July 2016 and found that there was a 227% y/y increase in competing offers offered at the individual product level (ASIN level in Amazon-speak).

In summary we believe there has been a sharp increase in competition between Amazon sellers, making it incrementally harder for individual sellers to grow as rapidly as they did before, and we believe this increase is driven at least in part by a substantial increase in new sellers to the platform.

To be clear, our total August Amazon GMV (not SSS) growth is generally in-line with Amazon’s most-recently reported EGM GMV growth.

We watch two Amazon internal data points around FBA adoption and FBA/off-Amazon trends:


Note: These are all y/y SSS comparisons (August 2015 vs. August 2016).

  • 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 2016, 41.1% of Amazon GMV was FBA.  That was up 21.6% from a year ago, August 2015, where 33.8% of the SSS GMV was FBA.
  • % 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 2015, 3.0% was non-Amazon fulfilled.  Then in August 2016, we saw this decrease 17.1% to 2.5%.  More and more Amazon deliveries are being made directly by Amazon and thus don’t have tracking numbers that are needed by the non Amazon marketplaces (eBay, Walmart) and Amazon sellers’ websites.

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

Here is the August 2016 Google Shopping/Product Listing Ad supplemental data:


Overall, Google Shopping/PLA for August came in up 43.1% y/y.   The conversion rate was down this month y/y declining 22.5% from 2.43% (August 15) to 1.88% (August 16). AOV increased 3.8% from $110.01 a year ago to$114.22 in 2016.

As mentioned previously, Google continues to turn all of the ‘dials’ on Google Shopping:

  • The Google Shopping ‘widget’ showed for more searches
  • The widget had higher placement
  • The widget increasingly had more products

These trends are driving the internal metrics.

Supplemental data for Search

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


Note: These are all y/y SSS comparisons (August 2015 vs. August 2016).

Clicks (a measure of volume) were up 7.4% and cost was down 4.8% due to the decrease in CPCs of 11.3% to $0.39.  Orders were down 11.9% due to a decrease of 18.0% in Conversion Rate (CR) to 3.01%.  AOV increased slightly 7.5%y/y to $165.40.


August showed improving trends at Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping and CSEs compared to July.  Search, and ‘other 3PM’ slowed between July and August. CSE, Other 3PM, Google Shopping and eBay P+A Google grew in-line or faster than the e-commerce growth rate.  eBay, Amazon and Search grew slower than the e-commerce growth rate.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, Executive Chairman and Founder, ChannelAdvisor