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

June 8, 2012

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

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 May 2012 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.

The pulse of e-commerce from Catalyst UK and Internet Retailer (IRCE)

I just wrapped up a hectic two weeks of travel and wanted to share some observations:

  • Many readers may not realise, but at ChannelAdvisor, not only do we do our Spring event called Catalyst in the US, but we also put the show on in Europe. This year, Catalyst EU was in London and we had well over 500 attendees.  While about 80% come from the UK, the rest were from across Europe.  With all the negative press we read about austerity measures, Greece and other European problems, I thought things would be a bit morose.  I couldn’t have been more wrong – the attendees I spoke with were generally positive and seeing > 20% y/y growth.  Someone explained that the high street (Brick and Mortar) retailers are under the most pressure and closing stores which is creating a lack of supply that the online retailers are taking advantage of.  Perhaps e-commerce is a bit of a silver lining on that cloudy macro-economic geography.
  • IRCE was simply massive this year.  Congrats to the entire team @ Internet Retailer for putting on a great show. We’ve been exhibiting and speaking at the show since it’s 2005 debut and it’s very impressive how they have grown and kept the quality bar very high.
  • IRCE – Top of mind with retailers was the big Google news (they are stopping the free Google Product Search program if you missed it last week), but also retailers were largely optimistic, growing and investing in a variety of areas.  Social was definitely top of mind as well as the explosion of marketplaces- we saw a ton of interest in NewEgg, Sears, and other new marketplaces.  If you missed my talk on Pinterest, we’re folding some of the same topics into a webinar next week – register here.
May 2012 SSS Results 
  • Amazon – Amazon slowed slightly coming in at 40.6% y/y growth for May vs. > 50% growth since Jan.
  • eBay –  eBay came in at 21%, slowing a tad from April’s 3.4% growth, but still a very strong showing.  Details in the eBay section below.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines showed a bit of strength coming in at down  2%.
  • Search – Search slowed a bit and came in in at 11.7%.  We have annualized our inventory-driven-search solution which is part of the headwind here.

SSS Chart 

The following chart details the SSS data for May 2011 through May2012: (click to enlarge)

May_sss_2012

 

eBay Details

eBay’s May y/y SSS 21% growth was a solid showing.  Here are the interior datapoints for the month:

  • eBay auctions – down 8% y/y
  • eBay fixed-price – up 27.4% y/y
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – Up 27.6%

A lot of our eBay customers have asked for some trend data on these datapoints and for the first time we are providing YTD details on these eBay details in this chart:

May_sss_ebay_2012

As you can see, eBay’s Motors and P+A slowed pretty significantly over the last couple of months.  We saw unusually high growth rates in the Winter months, we believe mostly due to the moderate weather that allowed weekend mechanics to work on their cars.  Perhaps we’ll see a slower summer as many of the projects are completed?

Supplemental data for Search

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

May_sss_2012_search_details

CPC was down slightly in May as was AOV.  Neither of these are unusual m/m movements.  The only datapoint of concern in this data is the small growth in clicks. Historically that has indicated big changes in the Google system that results in fewer clicks or a lower CTR from paid-ads to advertisers.  We’ll keep an eye on this metric going into the Summer to see directionally what’s going on there.

 

Conclusions

Based on the May data, the E-commerce world slowed slightly in the middle of Q2, but we dont’ see any signs of a global or even EU slow-down in our data.

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