March 2014 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for eBay, Amazon, Search and CSE

April 8, 2014

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 2014 schedule can be found in this post.  

Today we are releasing March 2014 SSS data for eBay, Amazon,Google Search and Google Shopping/PLA.  March saw a ‘thawing out’ with most e-commerce channels we follow posting increased same-store-sales growth in March compared with February.  With e-commerce forecasted to grow 15% (Forrester) in 2014, that is the baseline we use when comparing these results against e-commerce growth.

March 2014 SSS Results 

  • Amazon – Amazon’s March SSS came in at 26.2% compared to February’s 23.0%, a strong m/m increase we believe due to the improvement in weather conditions.  Note that Amazon had a big PR win with the launch of Amazon Fire TV on April 2.  These launches usually ‘spill over’ into increased e-commerce sales, so we will watch for that in our April data.
  • eBay –  eBay’s March came in at 17.8% up from January’s 15.0%. We have eBay details further down in the report that show what is going on with this marketplace.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines came in at 3.1% down from February’s 6.1% (driven by softness in the non PLA engines)
  • Search – Search came in at 11.2% , an increase from February’s 4.3% y/y growth.  Later in the report we have more search details.

Reviewing these high-level results, Marketplaces (eBay and Amazon) plus search definitely grew faster in March than earlier in the quarter.  eBay’s growth rate is the highest since August 2013.

 

SSS Chart 

The following chart details the SSS data for March 2013 through March 2014: (click to enlarge)

Sss_march_14_macro

 

This chart clearly illustrates the up-tick in March data with the exception of CSE.

eBay Details

eBay’s SSS for March was 17.8%.  To get a feel for what is driving the marketplace’s performance, here are the interior data points for the month:

  • eBay auctions – Down 10% y/y.
  • eBay fixed-price – Up 21.5% y/y – this was a nice showing for eBay and was the primary driver of the increase from February.  Note this is the strongest FP growth we have seen since March of 2013 (24.2%).   While the increases look pretty evenly spread across categories, the CE/Photo and sporting goods categories performed very well in March.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – P+A  was down slightly in March coming in at  19.7% up from February’s 22.3%.  While this was a slight decrease, it is still relatively strong when you look at e-commerce growth.

Here are the TTM (trailing twelve month) trends on these eBay internals.  (click to enlarge)

Sss_march_14_ebay_details

Supplemental data for Search

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

Sss_march_14_search
Note: these are all y/y SSS comparisons (March 2014 vs. March 2013).

Search SSS increased 11.2% for March and you can see it was improvements to the conversion rate and average order value (AOV) that drove the result.

First, clicks were down flat y/y due to consumers moving to PLA/Google Shopping.  Conversion rates ticked up 2% to 3.04% and CPCs declined to $.47 a 7% y/y decline.  AOV increased 5% to $115.40.

 

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

In September 2012, we introduced a new set of data around Google Shopping.  Here is the March Google Shopping/Product Listing Ad supplemental data:

Sss_march_14_goog_shopping

 

Overall, Google Shopping came in at 34.5% y/y increase on a SSS.   While 34.5% is nothing to sneeze at, it is a clear slowdown from February’s 48% y/y growth and the > 80% growth we consistently saw in Holiday 2013.  Looking at the data, what we are seeing is an normal aging of the program (see last month’s post for details).

In the March PLA data you can see that AOV decreased 10.2% while conversion rate rose by 8.7% to 2.44%.

Conclusions 

We hope you are able to use the data provided here to benchmark how your e-commerce channels performed to your peers.

Our next SSS post will be in May when we look at the April 2014 data to see how the first quarter ends for the top e-commerce channels.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor.