November 2013 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for eBay, Amazon, Search and CSE

December 5, 2013

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 schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2013 schedule can be found here.

 

Today we are releasing November 2013 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.  November is the middle of Q4 and historically a great read on how the holiday is doing.

Dont_panic

With Thanksgiving coming 6 days later this year,  we have an unusual situation – 2 of the 5 key kick-off holiday days (Cyber Sunday and Cyber Monday) fall in the month of December.  Because of this calendar anomaly, where applicable we have been ‘date shifting our holiday coverage (using Thanksgiving as a date of alignment).  Since this is our regular monthly post, we have provided the normal unaligned (Nov 1-30 2012 vs. 2013) dates.  Also, knowing the calendar makes November y/y SSS comparisons look pretty terrible and may cause folks to think e-commerce is having a holiday much worse than the 15-17% predicted by Forrester and comScore, we have provided a date-shifted 30 day look that compares the 30 days of October 29 – Nov 27 2012 to Nov 4 – Dec 3 2013  to have the most similar set of 30 days possible.  We hope this helps illustrate that the e-commerce holiday trends are not reflected in the November results this year.  That’s a long way of saying: “Don’t Panic” (tip of the hat to Douglas Adams).

Finally, last year we saw a distinctly U-shaped holiday with the front of the U coming Thanksgiving-12/5 and then a bit of lull and another big pick up towards the end of the holiday (12/13-20).  It will be interesting to see if the holiday turns out the same this year or if it’s different due to this calendar impact.

November 2013 SSS Results 

  • Amazon – Amazon’s November came in at 12.3% compared to October’s 23.8%, a substantial decrease caused by the Thanksgiving move.
  • eBay –  eBay’s November came in at 10.9% down from October’s 12.9%, also impacted by the Thanksgiving move. We have eBay details further in the report.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping came in at 5% down from October’s 8.4%.
  • Search – Search came in at 9.2% , an increase from October’s 5.6% y/y growth which is due to the fact that search is a channel that sees activity early in the holiday season so it was less impacted by the shift.  Further in the report we have search details.

SSS Chart 

The following chart details the SSS data for November 2012 through November 2013: (click to enlarge)

Nov_13_sss_chart

 

Date-Shifted “30 days of November” comparison

As mentioned in the prologue we wanted to provide a date-shifted table to illustrate a more realistic view of how the holiday is performing:

Nov_13_sss_chart_time_shift_chart

eBay Details

eBay’s SSS for November was 10.9%.  To get a feel for what is driving the marketplaces’ performance, here are the interior datapoints for the month:

  • eBay auctions – Down 3.7% y/y.
  • eBay fixed-price – Up 9.7% y/y
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – P+A accelerated a bit in November increasing to 19.6% from October’s 16%.  P+A is not a holiday driven category, so is less impacted by the Thanksgiving shift.  Plus it’s very hard to wrap mufflers and tires 😉

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

Nov_13_sss_ebay_details

Supplemental data for Search

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

Nov_13_search_details

The most interesting data point here is the nice bump in AOV to $113.72, indicating that even with the late Thanksgiving, consumers were spending well ahead of last year’s pace.

 

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

In September 2012, we introduced a new set of data around Google Shopping.  Here is the November Google Shopping supplemental data:

Nov_13_sss_getails

As indicated earlier, GS/PLA SSS were up 81.6% y/y which is substantially faster than e-commerce.  A large part of this growth is the fact that most retailers were just experimenting with GS/PLA as was Google – now we have Google sending massive traffic to GS and retailers advertising all of the SKUs that make sense.

Google Shopping AOV declined 9.1% y/y as more retailers come into the program bringing a wider assortment of goods along with them. Conversion rates showed a decrease (largely due to the Thanksgiving shift).  We have also seen an influx of non-domestic advertisers in our SSS data which could be causing CR headwinds.  Perhaps non-domestic buyers are still getting accustomed to the new system.

Conclusions 

Without understanding the Thanksgiving shift impact, our November SSS data would imply  e-commerce was slowing down to 10% and Holiday 2013 was under-shooting the 15-17%.  But given our ability to see the data without the Thanksgiving shift, the trends are actually stronger than the November data indicates.

 

Our next holiday post will be December 9th when we look at the first week of December and holiday 2013 YTD.

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