Same Store Sales (SSS) update – Feb results and some anecdotal observations

March 24, 2010

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

We’re almost done with Q1, so I thought I would take a quick breather and update everyone on what we are seeing from a Same Store Sales perspective.

For February we saw the following:

  • ChannelAdvisor all-in: 17% – a material acceleration from January.  You could argue we still have good comps against Q109, but still, the level of activity from a consumer perspective is clearly picking up across all-channels.
  • eBay SSS: 5.38% – An acceleration from Jan’s 4.6% and a record since we have been reporting here (see the chart)  We are starting to see currency play a big role as the pound and euro weaken, the FX benefit increases. This result is native currency (fx-neutral) – with FX 1.5% are added to eBay results.
  • Amazon SSS: 77% – An acceleration from Jan’s 75% and also a record.  Same FX comment applies.

Historically we’ve compared our data vs. Comscore to make it easy for everyone to look at all the datapoints.  We’re finding less and less correlation to the Comscore monthly data and what we are seeing in the world of e-commerce so will stop that practice moving forward.  For example, they saw Feb at 4% ex-travel y/y growth vs. Jan 7% which would imply a slow down, we are clearly seeing the opposite and a much different scale.

Here’s the chart of SSS data that goes back to January 09: (click to enlarge)

Other anecdotal datapoints

We’re seeing consumers start to loosen their wallets on higher price items.  At the start and heart of the Great Recession, we saw > $250 items just fall off the cliff. This price tier started coming back around September 09 and saw nice movement in Q110.

Retailers are definitely starting to invest at an increasing pace and strategically vs. small tactical tweaks.  We’ve never had more activity at ChannelAdvisor from retailers looking to replatform, expand channels (eBay and Amazon are hot topics), and optimise what they are already doing (CSE and search primarily).  Unfortunately, this is minimizing my blogging time, but we put that in the ‘high class problem’ bucket 😉

There is exploding retailer interest in Social and Mobile, not a lot of results to point to yet, but a lot of experimentation and toe dipping going on.

On the decline is interest in alternative payments (Paypal/amazon/gcheckout) – most retailers have picked their partner there and are moving on to other initiatives.

Retailers remain focused on conversion rates.  Having seen things like Rich Media or product reviews or a host of other solutions on the market ‘work’ during the recession, retailers are gobbling these up now.


Stay tuned for March

We should have March results that first week in April (so far March is looking incrementally better than Feb even, but we’ll see), so stay tuned.  Any questions? Sound off in comments.

Standard disclaimers on this data apply:

We are not a material volume of eBay or Amazon. Our customer size, category mix and data may vary wildly from what happens on those platforms and e-commerce overall.  We believe our software tends to a) skew to larger sellers and b) allow them to grow faster than the averages.


Seeking Alpha Disclosure: I am long google and Amazon. eBay is a minority investor in ChannelAdvisor.