eBay Q1 2015 results preview (from a seller’s point of view)

April 22, 2015

ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

eBay is set to release Q1 2015 results after the market closes on Wednesday 4/22.

Here is a dashboard that shows eBay’s guidance and Wall St. Expectations.  We’ll be updating this with actuals as they are released.

After the dashboard is a list of what we’ll be looking for.

q1_15_ebay_preview

What we’ll be watching for in the release and call:

The Split and Marketplace Strategy going forward

The eBay/PayPal/eBay Enterprise split up is the biggest medium term factor for sellers.  In past calls, eBay has mentioned a new focus in the MP business around ‘value buyers’ and ‘treasure hunters’ with a specific focus on eBay’s daily deals program.  That’s interesting, but sellers are looking for more of what this means?  Also, while eBay is saying this, they continue to roll out luxury retail brands (Michael Kors) and high end auctions from Sotheby’s which seems to be counter to that strategy.  So sellers are scratching their heads looking for more clarity here.

Sellers that utilize the Magento platform are particularly worried about what will happen.  Magento is an open source e-commerce platform that was moved from the MP business to the eBay Enterprise business. eBay is actively looking to divest of the eBay Enterprise business, so sellers are very nervous about the fate of this platform and will be listening closely for any news on eBay Enterprise.

GMV Growth

Short-term, our ChannelAdvisor y/y SSS for eBay Q1 came in at 6.3%.  Wall St. is looking for -1% from the US and 5% from non-US which would be 2% globally.  With e-commerce growing 15% and Amazon growing > 20% y/y the question is what is eBay doing to correct this?  Also on the Q4 call, eBay said that it will ‘get worse before it gets better’.  Sellers are curious of when it will get better and where the ‘bottom’ of the worse is.

International

Since Q4, the US dollar has strengthened vs. most other currencies which will create a FX headwind on the non-US business.  For US sellers, what this means is there is less demand for  cross-border-trade (CBT) goods because they have effectively become more expensive.  Any color on CBT will be interesting and important for US sellers especially.

Misc

  • Mobile – eBay MP did a lot to innovate around mobile 3-5yrs ago, but seems to have stopped in the last two years.  Will there be any news here?
  • Layoffs – eBay has reduced their headcount since the last call, any color on the scale and departments impacted will be interesting.
  • PayPal – In a short time, PayPal has lost a lot of ground in the in-store and mobile wallet world.  Apple Pay has tremendous momentum.  Google has acquired Softcard and Samsung has acquired Loop Pay.  Will PayPal have a viable strategy to recapture this or will they retrench to desktop payments?
  • SEO/Breach – Any news on how this is trending? It has been a year now and still causing headwinds.

 Big picture

Even though eBay is going through a rough patch, it’s important to remember that they are a > $80b marketplace so there is still a lot of opportunity there and can not be ignored by sellers.  That being said, if sellers have a 100% exposure to eBay, we believe it would be prudent to diversify and de-risk given where things are trending in the last couple of quarters.

This blog was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor