ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for October 2010

November 9, 2010

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

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

October results

October showed more strength in e-commerce. The results for each channel were as follows with some commentary:

  •  Amazon – Amazon came in at 54% down from August’s 56%.  Amazon continues to be very robust across most categories and the decrease is due to maturation of a large group of customers we added 18-24 months ago.  A very large cluster of customer is working through the 12month SSS blackout window and when they come out they will start SSS moving north again (I get a lot of questions on this – we only include customers in SSS if they have been with us for a year because we don’t have y/y data for them until month 13. For example, all-in (including customers <12 months old) Amazon is growing > 100% for us).
  • eBay –  eBay surprised us by stopping the slide we’ve seen since April and came in with it’s largest growth since we’ve been measuring SSS at 5.5% y/y growth.   This warrants it’s own analysis which I’ve provided below.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines rose slightly to 3.7%.  This channel generally meanders through the year and lights it up in Q4.
  • Search – Search accelerated again in October to 28.4%, up from August’s 24.9%.
  • Overall – Overall we see that e-commerce in October accelerated  to  high teens.  Hopefully the consumer can remain optimistic as we head into  prime time holiday buying season.

SSS Chart

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

Oct_sss_one

eBay Analysis

Digging into the eBay data, I noticed some interesting trends:

  • Some of our biggest movers (up) were in the auto parts category, digital cameras and sporting goods
  • Among the biggest decliners, we saw a lot of used/refurb sellers down y/y as well as apparel and jewelry
  • We are starting to annualize some of the new ‘large merchant program’ customers and their data is hitting the SSS where it has been out for a year.
  • Reading the tea leaves on November, we’ve seen some very strong declines due to the duplicate listing policy in the first week.  It’s too early to call, but the change is having a negative impact on a lot of sellers.  eBay needs to enforce the policy universally as now sellers that followed the policy are at a disadvantage to those who are not following it.

Supplemental data for Search and CSE

For search, we are providing y/y SSS data for the following datapoints:

  • Clicks – volume of clicks
  • Orders – Volume of orders
  • Cost – Overall cost for combined campaigns
  • CPC – Cost per click on average
  • CPC y/y SSS delta – the difference in CPC for Oct. 10 vs. Oct. 09 for SSS
  • CR – Conversion rate
  • CR change y/y – Oct. 10 vs. Oct. 09 for SSS
  • AOV – Average Order Value

The details are available in this table:

Oct_sss_three

The bump up in search SSS was due to a nice increase in clicks and a significant sequential and y/y bump up in CTR.  We attribute this to the new ad units that google is driving and initiative such as google instant which are driving not only MORE traffic, but MORE QUALIFIED traffic (that converts).

The AOV bump is something we saw across e-commerce showing that consumers are loosening their wallets some and buying higher AOV items.

For CSE, we are providing y/y CSE conversion rates as a blend of all engines:

Oct_sss_two
You can see that conversions increased from 1.7% to 1.73%.

Here is the SSS release schedule for the rest of the year:

  • November 26 – Black Friday – early read on holiday
  • November 29 – Cyber Monday – early read on holiday
  • November 3 – First  week of holiday summary
  • December 7 – November results
  • December 10 – Two week of holiday summary
  • December 17 – Three week of holiday summary
  • December 22 – Final holiday summary

Note that due to the pace of the holiday data, we probably will not be posting detailed search/cse data and may or may not have charts for those updates.

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