October 2014 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for eBay, Amazon, Search, CSE and other e-commerce channels

November 11, 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 October 2014 SSS data for eBay, Amazon, Google Search and Google Shopping/PLA.  ComScore has reported that US e-commerce grew at 13% y/y for the desktop, which translates to ~15% y/y with mobile included, so that is the baseline for 2014 growth.

Here are the y/y SSS results for October 2014, the first month of Q4 and an early read on how the holiday is shaping up .

October 2014 SSS Results 

  • Amazon – Amazon’s October SSS came in at 32.4%, a decrease compared to August’s 37.9% .  Even with a decrease from September to October, 32.4% is more than twice the growth rate of e-commerce.  We have Amazon details further in the report.
  • eBay –  eBay’s October came in at 4.4% down from September’s 8.9% and below the e-commerce growth rate.  Further in the report, we have details of the eBay internals.
  • Other 3PM -3PM continued strong growth in October coming in at 65.5% an increase from September’s 46.4%. @65.5%, they are growing 4X the pace of  e-commerce which is quite impressive.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines came in at 4.2% for October down from September’s 6.6%.  This was largely driven by weakness in the traditional CSE segment that over-shadowed strength in Google Shopping / PLA (details later).
  • Search – Search came in at 6.7% for October a decrease from September’s 28.5% y/y growth.  Later in the report we have more search details.


SSS Chart 

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


eBay Details

eBay’s SSS for October was 4.4%.  To get a feel for what is driving the marketplace’s performance, here are the interior data points for the month:

  • eBay auctions – Down 8.0% y/y.
  • eBay fixed-price – Up 2.6% y/y – a decrease from September’s 7.6%, which puts this key part of eBay growing about half the pace of e-commerce.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – P+A  decreased in October coming in at 11.7% compared to September’s 14.7%.  This brings P+A’s growth rate in-line with e-commerce.

Looking at the data, we continued to see weakness in the golf category (details later) and also the electronics category.  Digging into this, what we are seeing is big y/y declines in those categories for sellers with used items.  As we’ve covered in detail on this blog, the new eBay Defect Rate (eDR) is now active.  It seems a consequence of this new system is that sellers of used/refurbished items are having to significantly reduce their inventory and it has created a headwind on SSS for August and September.  Note that our customer base most likely over-indexes for this category of sellers.

Interestingly, Amazon has added several features to embrace the used/refurb category and we are seeing a clear share move from eBay to Amazon in this category.

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


Amazon Details

In June 2014, we released two new data points around FBA:

  • Percent FBA – This measures the % of Amazon GMV through the ChannelAdvisor system that was fulfilled through FBA and tracks it on a y/y basis.  For October 2014, 41.7% of Amazon GMV was FBA.  That was up from October 2013 where 38.2% of the GMV was FBA.  That’s a 9.2% increase y/y in FBA as a % of GMV.
  • % FBA non Amazon – Here we look at the total bucket of FBA-driven GMV and look at the % that was not fulfilled for Amazon sales (website, other 3PMs, Search, CSE, etc.).  In October 2013, 1.2% was non-Amazon fulfilled.  Then in October 2014, we saw this grow 18.5% to 1.4%.


Supplemental data for Search

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

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

Search SSS increased 6.7% for October.  The search increase from September to October was driven by increases in clicks (up 8%), AOV (which was up to $164.06, a 9% y/y increase) and Conversion Rate (CR) which improved 4% to 3.52%.   CPC was down 12% due to the headwind of mobile traffic.  Total cost was down 5% because of the decline in CPC.  The AOV move is a bit unusual and historically AOV has moved in concert with consumer spending.  Decreasing fuel costs, improved perception of the economy and lack of inflation are all factors.

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

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


Overall, Google Shopping came in up 13.7% y/y increase, a decrease from September’s 45.2%.   The Conversion rate was up y/y 5.7% from 2.20% to 2.32%, and (as with search) AOV increased 31.9% from $94.86 to $125.09 .  This is likely due to the improved consumer outlook as well as Google tweaking the algorithm to continue to show higher-priced goods.

Golf update

In May we provided a look into the golf category that has been quite popular with our golf customers.  In October, we saw eBay decline to 3.9% y/y SSS compared to September’s 0.8%.   Amazon increased to 39.7% from September’s 39%.  The used/refurb product is a 25-33% chunk of the golf category and the trends we mentioned in the eBay details section (eBay pushing away used/refurb, Amazon embracing) were reflected in the golf data as well.


The following table and chart illustrate the 2014 YTD trends for the golf category from a SSS perspective.



October was a mixed month for the channels we track. Amazon and 3PMs grew materially faster than the 15% e-commerce baseline growth rate.  Google Shopping was in-line with e-commerce growth.  eBay, search,  and traditional CSEs were under pressure.

Later today, we will post our Holiday 2014 SSS schedule.


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