ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for June 2010

July 7, 2010

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For more detail on ChannelAdvisor’s SSS data, please see this post.

Today we are releasing June data and in addition to the eBay and Amazon data, we are now breaking out search and CSE data as per customer requests.  We have also had requests to release more details around CSE and search such as CPC, CTR, CR and engine mix (CSE specific).  We’ll be evaluating the addition of those metrics in the coming months.  One FAQ that I receive is about currency rates.  These SSS percentages are all in native currency.

June results

June saw a decline on all channels.  There are several potential factors contributing to this such as seasonality, weather, recessionary headwinds and of course a dip in consumer confidence.

The results for each channel were as follows with some commentary:

  • Amazon – Amazon came in at 65% down from May’s 67%.  We continue to annualize more customers on our Amazon 2.0 solution which is where the decrease is coming from as we saw in May. Our data indicates that this will settle down in the mid 50% range over time as we get a more true reading from the Amazon SSS that isn’t influenced by a major release cycle at ChannelAdvisor.  That being said, we have several features that are in beta that are dramatically accelerating sales for those merchants in the beta programs.  Once those features hit, depending on adoption, it could cause an acceleration due to software features.
  • eBay – The changes from 3/30 continued to take their toll on eBay sellers.  eBay declined to –5.2% vs. -4% in May.  Customers continue to be frustrated by the BestMatch algorithm, constant eBay tweaks to that algorithm and the very high eTRS bar.  If there is a silver lining to this problem, it has lead to more expansion in other channels (Amazon, Buy and webstore are the primary beneficiaries)
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines came in at 4.3%.  This is pretty common for the group to see sluggish growth in the summer months and then really outperform in Q1 and Q4 with some lift in Q3.  We know there is interest in more internal data here and are working on adding that.
  • Search – Search continues to do well at 10.5% SSS growth.  Google has made several e-commerce changes (detailed on our Searchmarketing blog) and continues to drive incremental lift through improved conversion rates.
  • Overall – Overall we see that e-commerce has slowed from the mid teens to the 10-11% range.  While there are easy comps to last year, this is the ‘new new’ and our belief is that we are seeing a slight slow-down and not a ‘falling off the cliff’ that we saw in the early days (Q308) of the Great Recession.  We’ll leave it to the economists to pontificate if this is just a cooling down or a double dip or a ‘bounce’, etc.

SSS Chart

The following chart details the SSS data for 2010 through June:
June_2010_sss
How as June for you?

How as your June – I’m particularly interested in hearing about how eBay sellers are dealing with the challenges on that platform.  We have some tips we’ve been giving folks, but there aren’t any silver bullets unfortunately.  We also hear anecdotally that sellers with the advanced stores with data tracking have seen google traffic to eBay listings/sellers/stores go to near-zero, indicating some big SEO/SEM challenges for eBay.  If anyone has some quantitative data to share in comments that would be great.

Disclaimer

ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) are reported as a benchmark data point for ChannelAdvisor’s internet retailer customers.  The SSS data is not a position or forecast of any e-commerce activity, but the real transactional data captured by ChannelAdvisor across over 3000 retailers and $3b of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV).  There are many reasons this data is not a proxy for overall e-commerce activity including, but not limited to:

  • Customer variance – ChannelAdvisor’s customers may not be representative of the overall customer mix of any individual channel.  For example, on eBay, our customers are skewed towards the largest eBay customer set, not the average.
  • Category variance – ChannelAdvisor is over-indexed in some categories (electronics, sporting goods and auto parts) and under-indexed in others (collectibles, BMV/media, etc.)  For example, on Amazon, ChannelAdvisor has very few media customers so we have no visibility into that large chunk of the business.
  • Cross Border Trade variance – While ChannelAdvisor does have a fair amount of non-domestic GMV (>25%), our mix and currency exposure is vastly different than other e-commerce players.
  • Software Impact – At the end of the day, we are a software company. Some of our features cause a short-term bump in sales that may skew results high a the beginning and then lower at the end of a one year SSS cycle.
  • Channel impact – Certain changes at e-commerce channels may cause more good or harm to our customer base, category mix, international mix and software.  While the data shows these changes, because we are not a material part of every channel, over 90% of that channel’s business may not have the same impact (positive or negative).

 

SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long Google and Amazon, eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.