Amazon marketplace sales leave eBay and Google in the dust
Sales on Amazon.com Inc.’s marketplace grew 30.1% in July compared with a year ago, driven by its ‘Black Friday in July’ Prime Day promotion. Google Shopping’s 13.2% growth was half the pace it experienced in the year-ago period and eBay’s growth slowed to a third of projections, according to the latest report out today from ChannelAdvisor.
ChannelAdvisor, a provider of technology for selling through e-marketplaces, produces monthly reports that compare its approximately 3,000 merchant clients’ sales through online marketing channels and shopping portals. Same-store sales are those made by merchants who have sold on the marketplace for at least a year.
Amazon’s same-store sales grew 30.1% compared with 26% growth in June, helped by the e-retailer’s July 15 promotion of its 20th anniversary. Amazon’s Prime service, at $99 a year, gives customers free shipping and delivery on 20 million items and free video and music streaming capabilities. ChannelAdvisor didn’t have specifics on the Prime Day boost, but July’s year-over-year growth of 30.1% compared with 26% growth in June indicates that Prime Day fueled July sales, a ChannelAdvisor says. In 2014, ChannelAdvisor reported that Amazon’s July same-store sales grew 40.4%.
"We look at e-commerce as a battle of the titans,” ChannelAdvisor Chairman Scot Wingo says. “Amazon is clearly the leader right now, and eBay is falling behind. Google is trying to stay in the mix through Purchases on Google. We'll be watching to see if these trends continue as we head into the holidays."
Amazon also got a boost from a 34.3% increase in year-over-year gross merchandise value through “Fulfillment by Amazon,” in which Amazon handles orders, payments and customer service for retailers who sell goods through its marketplace. The percentage of goods not fulfilled by Amazon from all channels, including search, website and other third-party management systems, stayed about the same at 2%, compared with 1.9% in July 2014.
Google Shopping’s sales grew 13.2% year over year—less than half of June’s 28.7% increase. The big swing happened because Google AdWords started increasing the price of brand terms, forcing retailers to scramble to adjust budgets to cover the extra expense.
A ChannelAdvisor blog analyzing the trend says that although click-through rates in June 2015 were roughly the same as in February 2014, the cost-per-click in June more than doubled, to 28 cents compared to 12 cents in February 2014. The driver behind the cost increase is unclear because the lack of competition on these key words indicates an absence of other participants in the market, according to the blog by ChannelAdvisor strategic accounts manager Andrew Belsky.
Google Shopping’s slowdown cascaded into comparison shopping engines’ results. Comparison shopping sites registered a 4.3% growth rate in July, down from June’s 15.8%, the report says.
EBay’s same-store sales for July grew 5.8%, about one-third of the 15% rate that research firm comScore predicted and a slowdown from eBay’s 7.2% growth in June. The major reason: eBay’s continued auction declines, down 33.4% in July on top of a 25.5% drop in June, and a 5.2% year-over-year increase in its fixed-price sales, according to the ChannelAdvisor report.
EBay’s fast-growing auto parts and accessories marketplace was a bright spot. It grew faster than e-commerce for eBay, with 17.8% growth in July compared to the year-ago period. In June, sales in that division were up 16.4% year over year.