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.
Today we are releasing October 2013 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data. October is the first month of the Q4 holiday season. comScore reported that e-commerce grew 13% in Q3 so we use that as our litmus test for comparisons.
September 2013 SSS Results
- Amazon – In October, Amazon came in at 23.8%, which is a slight decrease from September’s 26.5%, but still significantly above the rate of e-commerce growth (as reported by comScore).
- eBay – eBay’s SSS for October came in at 12.9%, which is a significant decrease from September’s 17.4% and in-line the rate of e-commerce growth. Further in the report we provide eBay internal component details, which provide details on the September results.
- CSE – Comparison Shopping came in at 8.4% y/y growth for October, a slight decrease from September’s 10.4%. Google Shopping /PLA SSS is up 82.7% which helps offset headwinds from traditional CSEs.
- Search – Search came in at 5.6% y/y growth, a nice increase from September’s 1.8%. Further in the report we have search details.
Together, these datapoints show that in October, all e-commerce channels performed relatively consistently with Q3 with Amazon continuing its leadership position heading into Holiday 2013.
The following chart details the SSS data for October 2012 through October 2013: (click to enlarge)
eBay’s 12.9% SSS result for October was in-line with e-commerce growth, but did decelerate noticeably from last month. To get a feel for what is driving the marketplaces’ performance, here are the interior datapoints for the month:
- eBay auctions – Down .4% y/y. Auctions declined from September’s 8.4%
- eBay fixed-price – Up 12.8% y/y – Fixed price was under a bit of pressure in October. 12.8% is the lowest growth rate we’ve seen in the last year. eBay did say in their Q3 call that October is off to a slow start for them, so we’ll be watching closely to see how the rest of Q4 shapes up for eBay.
- eBay Motors (parts and accessories) – P+A accelerated a bit in October increasing 16% compared to September’s 14.4%.
Here are the TTM (trailing twelve month) trends on these eBay internals. (click to enlarge)
Supplemental data for Search
Search (traditional AdWords) was up 5.6% in October – an increase from Sept . Looking at the internal data, we see the cannibalization from PLA/Google Shopping in the clicks metric which was down 1% (an improvement from down 6% last month). Search CR’s were up nicely (16%) y/y. AOV was also up an impressive 6% which helped generate a positive outcome even in the face of PLA/GS click cannibalization. CPCs declined 7% y/y as retailers figure out the right balance post enhanced campaigns.
As we go into the holiday, search and CSE are largely research channels, so we usually see them react first and then the transactional channels (marketplaces) come into play.
Supplemental data for Google Shopping
As indicated earlier, GS/PLA SSS were up 82.7% y/y which is more than 6X the growth of 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 5% y/y as more retailers come into the program bringing a wider assortment of goods along with them. Conversion rates showed a decrease. We have 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.
Our SSS data from October indicates that e-commerce followed the same trends we saw through Q3. Marketplaces outperformed e-commerce, search and CSE continued to grow more slowly than e-commerce. Google PLA/GS took share from overall search and dominated CSEs.
This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor.