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 September 2013 data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data. August is seasonally a slow month for e-commerce and is the middle of the third quarter which includes Back-to-School (B2S) and tees us up for fourth quarter. According to comScore, non-travel e-commerce grew 16% in Q2, so we use that as a baseline for e-commerce growth.
September 2013 SSS Results
- Amazon – In September, Amazon came in at 26.5%, which is a slight increase from August’s 24%, and significantly above the rate of e-commerce growth (as reported by comScore).
- eBay – eBay’s SSS for September came in at 17.4%, which is also a slight decrease from August’s 18.9% but is still above 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 a healthy 10.6% y/y growth for September, a slight increase from August’s 7.7%. Google Shopping continues to show strength in this category helping offset headwinds from traditional CSEs.
- Search – Search came in at 1.8% y/y growth, an increase from August’s 0.2%. Further in the report we have search details.
Together, these datapoints show that in September, all e-commerce channels performed relatively consistently with July and August to round out the third Q.
The following chart details the SSS data for September 2012 through September 2013: (click to enlarge)
eBay’s 17.4% SSS result for September was ahead of e-commerce growth. To get a feel for what is driving the marketplaces’ performance, here are the interior datapoints for the month:
- eBay auctions – Up 8.4% y/y. As with August, we saw an unusual increase in y/y auction trends. Cassini (eBay’s new search technology) seems to be surfacing auctions more than the past algorithm and is the root cause for the increase.
- eBay fixed-price – Up 19.4% y/y – Fixed price had another strong showing in September (in-line with July/August) growing faster than e-commerce.
- eBay Motors (parts and accessories) – P+A decelerated again in September on top of an August deceleraton, coming in at 14.4% vs. 18.5% in August and 26.6% in July. New car sales continue to be robust which we believe is the root cause for this weakness.
Here are the TTM (trailing twelve month) trends on these eBay internals. (click to enlarge)
Supplemental data for Search
Search (traditional AdWords) was up 1.8% in September – an increase from August . Looking at the internal data, we see the cannibalization from PLA/Google Shopping in the clicks metric which was down 6% (an acceleration from 3% last month). Search CR’s were up slightly (1%) y/y. AOV was also up an impressive 17% which helped generate a flat 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.
One theory we have on the AOV – Google PLA/GS are satisfying the shopping needs for lower ASP items – there is enough selection and the ‘risk’ of not finding the right offer are lower. But when the consumer is looking to spend > $75-100 they are adding back in the text/adwords ads to make sure they aren’t missing great offers.
Supplemental data for Google Shopping
Google Shopping AOV declined 11.3% y/y as more retailers come into the program bringing a wider assortment of goods along with them. Conversion rates showed a significant decrease (the largest we’ve recorded in the last year). 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.
Happy 1yr Anniversary Google Shopping Data!
Our SSS data from September indicates that e-commerce followed the same trends we saw in July/August. Marketplaces outperformed e-commerce, search and CSE continued to grow more slowly than e-commerce. Google PLA/GS took share from overall search. The eBay Auction datapoint was interesting as was the eBay Motors P+A data point – we will be watching those closely in eBay’s Q3 results to see if the trends are reflected in their broader data set.
This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor.