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

October 8, 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 September 2014 SSS data for eBay, Amazon,Google Search and Google Shopping/PLA.  ComScore recently reported that US Q3 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 Q3 2014 growth.

Here are the y/y SSS results for September 2014, the last month of Q3 and the critical ‘back to school’ period, which propels us into Q4.  Note that there are 51 days until Thanksgiving from the time of this post (October 8, 2014).

September 2014 SSS Results 

  • Amazon – Amazon’s September SSS came in at 37.9%, a decrease compared to August’s 45.1% .  Even with a decrease from August to September, 37.9% is more than twice the growth rate of e-commerce.  We have Amazon details further in the report.
  • eBay –  eBay’s September came in at 8.9% up from August’s 5.9%, but below the e-commerce growth rate.  This is the first up-tick in eBay SSS since June and indicates that eBay is recovering from the breach and Google issues. Further in the report, we have details of the eBay internals.
  • Other 3PM -3PM continued strong growth in September coming in at 46.4%.  While this is an increase from the 24.2% recorded in August, these channels are a bit more volatile in m/m performance than larger more established channels.  @46.4%, they are growing 3X the pace of  e-commerce which is quite impressive.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines came in at 6.6% for September down from August’s 21.1%.  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 28.5% for September an increase from August’s 13.6% y/y growth.  Later in the report we have more search details.


SSS Chart 

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


eBay Details

eBay’s SSS for September was 8.9%.  To get a feel for what is driving the marketplace’s performance, here are the interior data points for the month:

  • eBay auctions – Down 4.1% y/y.
  • eBay fixed-price – Up 7.6% y/y – an increase from August’s 6.9%, which puts this key part of eBay growing about half the pace of e-commerce.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – P+A  increased in September coming in at 14.7% compared to August’s 8.4%.  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 September 2014, 35% of Amazon GMV was FBA.  That was up from September 2013 where 30.2% of the GMV was FBA.  That’s a 15.7% 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 September 2013, 1.4% was non-Amazon fulfilled.  Then in September 2014, we saw this grow 14.5% to 1.6%.


Supplemental data for Search

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


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

Search SSS increased 28.5% for September.  The search increase from August to September was driven by increases in clicks (up 8%), AOV (which was up to $156.14, a 15% y/y increase) and Conversion Rate (CR) improved 3% to 3.17%.   CPC was flat at $.44 due to the headwind of mobile traffic.  Total cost was up 9% because of the delta between CPC and CR.  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 September Google Shopping/Product Listing Ad supplemental data:


Overall, Google Shopping came in at 45.2% y/y increase, a decrease from August’s 54.3%.   The Conversion rate was up y/y 6.6% from 2.09% to 2.23%, and (as with search) AOV increased 33.9% from $93.50 to $125.17 .  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 September, we saw eBay decline to .8% y/y SSS compared to August’s 5.8%.   Amazon also declined to 39% from August’s 63.1%.  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.




September was a strong finish for the channels we track. Amazon, Google PLAs, 3PMs and Search grew materially faster than the 15% e-commerce baseline growth rate.  eBay and traditional CSEs were under pressure, with parts of eBay showing m/m SSS improvements.

NRF’s online division: just released their holiday forecast calling for 8-11% y/y growth in online sales vs. 4% for all of retail.  Forrester is calling for 15.5% growth (US) and IMRG in the UK is calling for 17% growth this holiday.  After our October monthly report, we’ll be going into heavy peak season mode, so stay tuned.

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