June 2012 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for eBay, Amazon, Search and CSE

July 10, 2012

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

Today we are releasing June 2012 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.

June 2012 SSS Results 

  • Amazon – Amazon increased slightly coming in at 49.9% y/y growth for June.
  • eBay –  eBay came in at 20.5%, showing continued strength.  Details in the eBay section below.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines slowed slightly coming in at down 2.7%.
  • Search – Search slowed a bit and came in in at 6%.  Search details are below.

SSS Chart 

The following chart details the SSS data for June 2011 through June 2012: (click to enlarge)

June_sss_2012

eBay Details

eBay’s June y/y SSS 20.5% growth was a solid showing.  Here are the interior datapoints for the month:

  • eBay auctions – down 10.7% y/y – eBay has been running a flood of auction promotions that actually have the opposite effect many would think – the flood of low quality free auctions swamps the system, the good inventory is lost and our Auction GMV bumps down.  That was a big auction theme in June.
  • eBay fixed-price – up 27.5% y/y – The FP metric is holding up great which is what we believe retailers should be focused here, unless you sell auto parts…
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – Up 26.8%, a solid performance, but the slowest for the year.  I believe the hot weather is putting a damper on people’s desires to work on their vehicles so we are probably seeing some enhanced seasonality.

Here are the YTD trends on these eBay internals:

June_sss_2012_ebay_details

It’s interesting that eBay and Amazon both are holding steady, but we are seeing some weakness in Search and CSE.  CSE is understandable given the headwinds there.  Search is interesting and suggests maybe a broader trend of consumers moving more behaviour to marketplaces – something we have been predicting for a while, and it will be interesting to see what the data tells us going forward.

Supplemental data for Search

The supplemental paid-search details for June are available in this table:

June_sss_search_specifics

Clicks were up pretty significantly which indicates metrics like search coverage and ads/query were up and potentially queries (look to comscore for that type of data).  Unfortunately cost was up driven by three metrics:

  • CPC was actually neutral
  • CR was down a fair amount (9%) to 2.73% indicating that consumers were not converting as well as last year or sequentially (this is the lowest CR this year).  There are a number of reasons consumers don’t convert – ad quality, pricing, economic pressures, no call to action, etc.  This is only one datapoint, but we’ll be watching this closely.
  • AOV was also down slightly – usually this represents pressure on the consumer’s wallet and/or seasonality.  We’ll go with seasonality at this point.

Conclusions

Based on the June data, we saw a tale of two cities.  In the marketplace city (whose skyline is dominated by the eBay and Amazon high rises), things are chugging along nicely.  In the CPC-based city of search and CSE, there is a bit of pressure – perhaps it’s macro-economic, or perhaps its due to the flocking of people heading to marketplace city?  Only time will tell, so stay tuned.  Of course, we’d love to hear your opinions, theories, thoughts and criticisms in comments.

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