Happy New Year eBay Strategies readers! After a long blogging holiday, I have a ton of interesting things to discuss, but first we have to knock out the last SSS report of 2010!
Today we are releasing December data for Marketplaces (eBay/Amazon), Search and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) along with supplemental data.
December illustrated a very interesting trend this year - the holiday period was very front-end loaded in the last week of November, versus previous years where there was a more even distribution. Consequently, while growth rates in every channel were strong in November, they decreased across the board in December.
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) - Amazon came in at 35.9% y/y growth for December a strong showing, but down from November's whopping 84.8%. It's important to note that Amazon is by far the fastest growing channel and this holiday period re-enforced their leadership position.
- eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) - eBay tipped to negative growth for us in December, coming in at -1.7% vs. November's 8.1% showing. Overall eBay had a decent holiday, but did not buck the 'shop early' trend as they have historically. Usually eBay has been more back end loaded because as supply chains dry up, eBay is the 'channel of last resort' for many hot items. That didn't seem to play out this year with retailer's being pretty smart with supply management and inventory levels. For example, the hot Xbox Kinect was in ample supply at most retailers.
- CSE - Comparison Shopping Engines continued to struggle dipping significantly in December to -10.7% y/y shrinkage. The biggest contributor here is changes Google made that have moved a bunch of the CSE traffic into the search bucket (which is good for Google because GPS is 'free' and search obviously is not.
- Search - Search showed the most resilience and came in at 22.9%, down modestly from the 29.6% November result. Google drove most of this and as mentioned in the CSE section, we are seeing strong consumer and advertiser adoption of the new feed-based ad formats.
- Overall - Overall we see that e-commerce in December came in at 9%, down from November's robust 21%. For the 2010 holiday period, that gives us a 12% y/y growth rate versus 2009.
The following chart details the SSS data for 2010 through December: (click to enlarge)
We're still gathering the search datapoints and I'll update this post when we have them. In 2011, we're going to be tweaking the SSS and publishing the calendar in February.
Disclosure: I am long Google and Amazon. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor Corp. where I am CEO.