ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

March 2016 ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales (SSS) for eBay, Amazon, Google Shopping/PLA, CSE, Search and Other Third Party Marketplaces.

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 2016 schedule can be found in this post.  

March 2016 y/y SSS Results 

Here are the ChannelAdvisor SSS results for March 2016:

  • Amazon – Amazon’s March SSS came in at 14.9%,  a decrease compared to February’s 16.6% and essentially ‘in-line’ with the 15% e-commerce growth rate as predicted by comScore.
  • eBay –  eBay’s March SSS came in at -0.2%,  a decrease from February’s 9.5%  and essentially flat y/y compared vs. the e-commerce growth rate of 15.0%.  Further in the report, we have details of the eBay internals.
  • Other 3PM -Non eBay and Amazon marketplaces for March came in at 37.2%, an increase from February’s 34.7%. 
  • Google Shopping/PLA – GS came in at 41.8% y/y growth for March, an increase from February’s 35.4%.  Google Shopping details are provided later in the report, and we have some examples of new formats that Google appears to be testing that give some insight into Google Shopping’s strong growth compared to e-commerce.
  • CSE – Comparison Shopping Engines came in at 16.1% for March, a decrease from February’s 17.1%.  While Google Shopping increased, traditional CSEs (non-Google) were slow enough to cause a deceleration in this category. Details on PLA/Google Shopping are provided later in the report.
  • Search – Search (Google AdWords and Bing/Yahoo! AdCenter) came in at negative 10.2% for March, an increase from February’s negative 13.2%.  We provide more search details later in the report.

SSS Chart 

The following chart details the SSS data for March 2015 through March 2016: (click to enlarge.)

03_16_sss_tracker

eBay Details

eBay’s SSS for March were -0.2%.  To get a feel for what drove the marketplace’s performance, here are the interior data points for the month:

  • eBay auctions – March’s eBay auction SSS were negative 20.8% y/y, a decrease compared to February’s  negative 15.7%.
  • eBay fixed-price – Came in at negative 5.8% y/y in March – a decrease from February’s 4.1%.
  • eBay Motors  (parts and accessories) – P+A  for March was 11.3% – down compared to February’s 22.1%.  eBay Motors P+A continued to be the bright spot in the eBay SSS results, growing fastest of all the eBay components.

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

03_16_sss_ebay_details

Amazon details

We watch two Amazon internal data points around FBA adoption and FBA/off-Amazon trends:

03_16_sss_amazon_details

  • 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 March 2016, 38.6% of Amazon GMV was FBA.  That was up 31.2% from a year ago, March 2015, where 31.4% of the SSS GMV was FBA.
  • % 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.).  A year ago in March 2015, 2.7% was non-Amazon fulfilled.  Then in March 2016, we saw this grow .6% (due to rounding) to 2.7%.

Supplemental data for Search

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

03_16_sss_search

Note: These are all y/y SSS comparisons (March 2015 vs. March 2016).

Clicks (a measure of volume) were up 13.5% and cost was up 9.2% due to the increase in clicks and a decrease in CPCs of 3.8%.  Orders were down only 1.2% due to a decrease of 12.9% in Conversion Rate (CR) to 3.36%.  AOV increased 1.2% y/y to $145.80.

Supplemental data for Google Shopping

Here is the March 2016 Google Shopping/Product Listing Ad supplemental data:

03_16_sss_gs_pla

Overall, Google Shopping/PLA for March came in up 41.8% y/y.   The conversion rate was down this month y/y declining 11.5% from 2.53% (March 15) to 2.24% (March 16). AOV decreased 2.8% from $115.52 a year ago to $112.35 in 2016.

Why is Google Shopping Growing so Fast?

Looking at the data over the last 7-8 months, you can see that Google Shopping/PLA has been growing 2-3X the growth of e-commerce.  How is Google doing this?  At ChannelAdvisor we monitor a lot of PLA search terms and what we have seen over that timeframe is that Google is ‘turning the dials’ on several factors such as the frequency the GS ad unit shows for a term and most importantly they are showing many more products in the ad units.  Sometimes that looks like this:

HighPLACount-10-Nest

Here you see 10 merchants/offers in a single ad unit.  Look at the number of pixels this ad unit takes up on the page compared to the text ads on the left.

Even more popular is the PLA/GS carousel which you can see here.  Note that we have seen Google testing many different configurations of the carousel, and on mobile, the carousel is presented almost 100% of the time on mobile:

PLAShortCarouselA-Mixers

 

 

Notice that in these examples the scroll arrow is in a circle.

PLAShortCarouselB-Mixers

 

In this diamond ring example, you can see the carousel has a semi-circle type treatment.

 

PLAShortCarouselA-OpenHearts

This is the other direction of the arrow:

PLAShortCarouselB-OpenHearts

 

In addition to these types of treatments, Google is increasingly putting more products into the carousels.   All of these choices are decreasing CRs, but because of the sheer ‘surface area’ of the PLA/GS ad units, they are driving a large increase in the y/y SSS GMV.

Conclusion

March is consistent with the trends we saw in February with a mix of channels growing faster or in-line with the e-commerce growth rate of 15%, including Google Shopping, Other 3PMs, CSEs and Amazon.   eBay and Search were flat to down y/y with the exception of eBay Motors P+A, which is growing 11.3%.  We’ll be watching eBay, Amazon and Google’s results for Q1 closely to see how they line up with what we saw in the SSS data.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, Executive Chairman and Founder, ChannelAdvisor.

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