July 2016 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS)

August 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.  

Note: The original post has been updated to include an additional clarification at the end related to Amazon SSS GMV growth.

July 2016 y/y SSS Results 

Here are the ChannelAdvisor SSS results for July 2016:

  • Amazon – Amazon’s July SSS came in at 6.4%,  a decrease compared to June’s 11.6% and well 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 July SSS came in at 3.5%,  a slight decrease from June’s 3.8%  and about 1/3 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 July came in at 53.3%, a decrease from June’s 60.7%. 
  • Google Shopping/PLA – GS came in at 34.3% y/y growth for July, an increase from June’s 26.2%.  Google Shopping details are provided later in the report.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines came in at 16.8% for July, an increase (largely driven by PLA) from June’s 12.1%.  
  • Search – Search (Google AdWords and Bing/Yahoo! AdCenter) came in at negative 1.3% for July, a slight increase from June’s negative 14.6%.  We provide more search details later in the report.

SSS Chart 

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


eBay Details

eBay’s SSS for July were 3.5%.  To get a feel for what drove the marketplace’s performance, here are the interior data points for the month:

  • eBay auctions – July’s eBay auction SSS were negative 17.2% y/y, an improvement from June’s  negative 22%.
  • eBay fixed-price – Came in at 1.4% y/y in July – an increase from June’s negative 0.3%.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – P+A  for July was 9.6% – a decrease from June’s 14.2%.  eBay Motors P+A continued to be the bright spot in the eBay SSS results, growing fastest of all the eBay components.

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 201, Amazon’s EGM (electronics and other general merchandise) grew 34% and July Amazon SSS was 6.4% 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, in our analysis, 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.

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


Note: These are all y/y SSS comparisons (July 2015 vs. July 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 July 2016, 42.1% of Amazon GMV was FBA.  That was up 30.4% from a year ago, July 2015, where 35.5% 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 July 2015, 2.9% was non-Amazon fulfilled.  Then in July 2016, we saw this decrease 11.1% to 2.6%.  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 July 2016 Google Shopping/Product Listing Ad supplemental data:


Overall, Google Shopping/PLA for July came in up 34.3% y/y.   The conversion rate was down this month y/y declining 17.3% from 2.48% (July 15) to 2.05% (July 16). AOV increased 4.3% from $104.56 a year ago to$109.08 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.  For example, conversion rate goes down with more PLAs being shown (more choices for consumers to click on and explore).

Supplemental data for Search

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


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

Clicks (a measure of volume) were up 9.4% and cost was down 5.3% due to the decrease in CPCs of 15.9% to $0.39.  Orders were down 5.7% due to a decrease of 13.8% in Conversion Rate (CR) to 3.13%.  AOV increased slightly 0.4% y/y to $154.82.


July continued the trends we saw in June with a mix of channels growing faster or in-line with the e-commerce growth rate of 15%, including Other 3PM, Google Shopping and CSE.  Amazon’s SSS was below the e-commerce growth rate for the month due to the sharp increase in competitive intensity.  eBay continued to struggle, with the exception of P+A to grow in-line with e-commerce.


Clarification – added August 14, 2016:

Some readers seeking additional clarification around our Amazon SSS data from our July SSS post.  As mentioned in our previous blog post, we believe a significant increase in competition amongst sellers (including an influx of new sellers) has caused a recent deceleration in our Amazon SSS data, a deceleration that was NOT reflected in Amazon’s most recently-reported total EGM GMV growth.
We want to clarify that our total Amazon GMV (not SSS) growth continued to be comparable to Amazon’s most-recently reported EGM GMV growth.

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