November 2012 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) — Holiday 2012

December 6, 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 thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including methodology and schedule can be found in January’s post.

Today we are releasing November 2012 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.  November is one of the two most important months of the year for retailers, second only to December (and that may change this year!)  because of the all critical holiday selling period.  This year we’ve been issuing more updates than ever before so we’ll keep this post high level.

November 2012 SSS Results  

  • Amazon – In November, Amazon had a very solid 43.7% growth rate.  Given e-commerce growth rates of 15-17% (ComScore), and on top of last year’s tough comp of 60% growth plus their scale, it is very impressive they continue to grow essentially 3X the pace of overall e-commerce.
  • eBay –  If you followed our Cyber Five coverage, you know that eBay had a very strong showing.  When looking at the entire month they are up 27.4% y/y.  The eBay details section and Holiday Trend Tracker have more details.  In the span of a year, eBay has gone from struggling to meet e-commerce growth rates to growing at about 2X – a very impressive ramp-up.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping came in at 3.9% positive growth for November, their first positive month since, well, last November. This is actually quite impressive given the loss of the free GMV from GPS that has had to be replaced by Google Shopping / Product Listing Ads (PLA).
  • Search – Search was down 13.5% as it really suffered from Google Shopping / PLA click cannibalization.


SSS Chart 

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


Holiday Trend Tracker

The next table shows our three Holiday 2012 measurement periods together so you can get a feel for how each channel has done through each period.  The periods are:

  1. Pre Holiday – November 1-19
  2. Cyber Five – Thanksgiving – Cyber Monday (inclusive)
  3. November full month

Note that the relative scale of each day (not every day is 3.3% of a month) is what makes this non linear:


eBay Details

eBay’s November 27.4% y/y SSS growth was very strong compared to last year’s 18% growth rate.  To get a feel for what’s driving the marketplaces’ performance, here are the interior datapoints for the month:

  • eBay auctions – Down 19% y/y – Auctions continued their decreases in October.  Same story here we’ve been seeing for the last couple of years.
  • eBay fixed-price – Up 38.5% y/y – November’s fixed-price data was the highest growth rate we have seen in this component since we started splitting it out, handily beating October’s also record-setting 35.4%.  This obviously points us to eBay’s focus on fixed-price as a key driver of their strong November/Holiday performance.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – Up 25.9%, which is one of the slowest measurements for the year.  P+A tends to be seasonal, so we have historically seen some slow down in the winter months, especially if winter weather hits.

Finally, as we’ve previously noted, we believe eBay is getting a lot of lift from their mobile efforts and well thought out 2012 holiday promotions.  ComScore has very interesting new data available for eBay and other top websites that breaks out their audience by total, PC and mobile.  For eBay:

  • Total digital audience of 90m/m
  • 73m PC based – 81% of total
  • 37m mobile – 41% of total
  • 20m cross device – (73+37=110-90 – 20m) or 22% total audience
  • That implies 17m of the mobile users or 45% are mobile ONLY

No matter how you slice it, eBay has a massive mobile audience according to ComScore.

Here are the YTD trends on these eBay internals.  The red line is fixed-price growth and you can see it really take off in the last month:


Supplemental data for Search

Here are the November Search internals:


Supplemental data for Google Shopping

In August, we introduced a new set of data around Google Shopping.  Here is the November Google Shopping supplemental data:


As this program sees larger adoption, we are seeing the CR dip a bit as there are more ads out there to pick from and users now appear to be hitting multiple ads.  A positive is the AOV is going up – our new Google Shopping solution allows retailers to really hone the products that are displayed with each search term and that is helping move the needle here.  For example, if someone searches for a Samsung TV 42 inch, you want to show a top selling 42-inch TV, not a installation kit or a lower-ASP 20-inch TV.

Conclusions and remaining 2012 Holiday SSS data schedule

November was a strong month for marketplaces and search/CSE remained under pressure due to the big Google Shopping transition.  We have four more planned releases of data around Holiday 2012:

  • Friday, December 7 – We’ll take a look at the first week of December and Holiday YTD
  • Friday, December 14 – We’ll check in on the second week of December and Holiday YTD
  • Friday, December 21– We’ll see how things are looking during the third week of December
  • Monday, January 7, 2013– We’ll share December 2012 SSS and Holiday Wrap Up

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor. I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.