ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for April 2011

May 10, 2011

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Note: This is a monthly feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of over 3000 retailers and ~$3b in GMV.  Details on the SSS including methodology and schedule can be found in this post.

Today we are releasing April data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.

April 2011 results

April was an interesting month with acceleration in marketplaces and a slow down in other channels.  Here are the highlights:

  •  Amazon – Amazon came in at  83.8% y/y growth for April a material acceleration.
  • eBay –  eBay continued to show strength coming in at 10.9%, their fastest growth on record since we’ve been reporting SSS data. More thoughts on eBay later in the report.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines really showed the full impact of the Panda release in April and were down a whopping 12.34%.  Some individual engines are showing signs of stabilization, but many are still suffering from the release as they see their SEO traffic decline substantially y/y.
  • Search – Search also slowed in April, coming in at 12.2%.  The interior numbers are provided below.
  • Overall – Overall we see that e-commerce in March came in at 9.3%, a slight increase from the 7.64% in March. Increased fuel prices, rising inflation, UK austerity, etc. are macro pressures continue to weigh on e-commerce.

SSS Chart

The following chart details the SSS data for 2010 through April 2011: (click to enlarge)


Search Details

Search is soft primarily due to softness in conversion rates. CPC costs are on the rise which is also putting pressure on the channel from a retailer’s perspective. With order sup 3% and costs up 27%, the efficacy of the channel is under pressure as we head into Summer.


eBay Observations

eBay’s > 10% SSS showing is definitely an interesting data point that I thought warranted a bit of a deeper analysis.  Looking at the internal numbers,  there are a couple of trends that stick out:

  • Format stabilization – For a long time, eBay was the combination of auctions with -30% levels of headwinds and fixed price at 20-30% tailwinds, netting out no growth or negative growth.  Looking at April, Auctions are only down 5% and fixed price is up > 15%, plus auctions have become small enough mix-wise (our mix is of auctions is lower than eBays) that their declines are being washed out by fixed-price gains
  • P+A is on fire – eBay Motors parts and accessories business is doing very well and we have a lot of business there.  This segment is up > 15% y/y for us SSS-wise.  I believe that eBay’s improvements to the buying experience with the parts-finder married with seller’s providing ‘fitment data’ are doing very well in this category.
  • Large merchants – We are starting to annualize the launch of some pretty large merchants that are doing very well on the platform and growing substantially y/y as they hone their eBay selling strategies.

SeekingAlpha disclosure: I am long Google and Amazon.  eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO.