Jul. 11, 2014, 11:07 AM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM +6.9%) clients saw a 34.4% Y/Y June increase in their Amazon (AMZN +4.5%) same-store sales. That growth rate is well above May's 28.1%, and is the highest rate seen in the last 12 months.
- Client eBay (EBAY +2.5%) same-store sales grew 12.3%. That's a little better than May's 11.5%, and suggests the toll taken by a data breach and Google algorithm changes might be abating a bit. Auctions -19%, fixed-price +18.4%, Motors +10.4%.
- A positive for Google (GOOG +0.9%): Search ad-driven same-store sales rose 20.4%, a big improvement from May's 11.5% and the 2nd-highest level seen in the last 12 months. Cost per click (ad prices) rose 5% to $0.48, conversion rates 6% to 2.81%, and average order value (AOV) 7% to $137.02.
- ChannelAdvisor notes AOV has historically "been a good indicator of consumer sentiment," and that the appeal of Google AdWords for marketing costlier items remains strong.
- Meanwhile, Google's product listing ads (PLAs) keep gaining traction as a vehicle for selling cheaper goods. Their same-store sales rose 47.8%, sharply above May's 21.4%. AOV fell 8.7%, but conversion rates rose 10.5%.
- Deutsche has upgraded ChannelAdvisor to Buy. eBay reports on July 16, Google on the 17th, and Amazon on the 24th.
Jul. 3, 2014, 11:18 AM
- eBay (EBAY +0.8%) plans to bring its Click & Collect service (allows buyers to pick up eBay orders at local stores) to 650 stores owned by major U.K. retailer Argos. The company expects 65K eBay sellers will make items available for collection at Argos by year's end, and 80K will do so in 2015.
- The effort expands on a trial (launched last September) featuring 50 eBay sellers and 150 Argos stores. eBay claims the trial "proved successful operationally and incredibly popular with customers."
- Not surprisingly, eBay is taking steps to bring the service to the U.S. Meanwhile, Amazon is trying to gradually expand its delivery locker service amid retailer wariness, and Google has bought delivery locker startup BufferBox.
- eBay/Amazon argue their pickup services can both provide superior convenience (in some instances) and eliminate the risk an item will be stolen after getting left on a doorstep. The Argos expansion comes as eBay backtracks on once-aggressive expansion plans for its Now local/same-day delivery service.
Jun. 24, 2014, 4:04 PM
- eBay (EBAY -1.1%) has hired Craig Hayman, formerly an exec within IBM's Industry Cloud Solutions and WebSphere (middleware) units, to be the head of its enterprise unit (formerly GSI Commerce).
- Chris Saridakis, eBay's last enterprise chief, resigned in January amid weak top-line performance.
- The division, which provides e-commerce software and services to merchants, saw its revenue rise 8% Y/Y in Q1 to $269M. That was a notable turnaround from Q4's 2% drop.
Jun. 17, 2014, 1:57 AM
- PayPal (EBAY) is expanding today into 10 new countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The expansion brings the total amount of territories PayPal serves to 203.
- Countries include: Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, and Paraguay.
- Customers that have web access and a bank card authorized for Internet transactions in the new regions will now be able to sign up for accounts.
- The company reported revenue of $1.8B for the first quarter of 2014, and 148M active accounts worldwide.
Jun. 11, 2014, 4:07 AM
- EBay (EBAY) is starting to move away from auctions, with the launch of its new online designer shop. The new website will operate as an extension to its other e-commerce platforms, and sell 16 fashion labels at full price.
- The e-commerce store will be named Designer Collective, and feature brands such as Calvin Klein, True Religion, Rebecca Minkoff and Nicole Miller.
Jun. 10, 2014, 1:30 PM
- A source tells VentureBeat eBay (EBAY -2.3%) plans to shutter its once-hyped Now local/same-day delivery service.
- The site observes Now has already seen a string of setbacks: eBay's local commerce chief and East Coast operations head have both departed, and some early retail partners such as Best Buy are gone.
- CEO John Donahoe downplayed eBay's same-day efforts in February. The company was more upbeat in 2013, promising to bring Now to 25 cities by the end of 2014 with the help of U.K. acquisition Shutl.
- Today, eBay only says it's "focused on supporting" Now in its 5 current markets, and isn't "announcing any new market expansions at this time."
- Amazon (AMZN +1.9%) must be happy to see the report. Unlike eBay and Google (just expanded local delivery to the whole of NorCal), Amazon is relying on its own fulfillment infrastructure (replete with AmazonFresh vans) instead of 3rd-party retailers for same-day. Its strategy has higher up-front costs, but could also allow for more efficient delivery.
- eBay continues to trade lower following news of PayPal chief David Marcus' departure.
- Update: eBay denies having plans to shutter Now, but also suggests it's not currently looking to expand beyond Now's existing markets.
Jun. 9, 2014, 4:54 PM
- David Marcus, EBAY's well-respected PayPal chief, is leaving to become the head of Facebook's (FB) messaging products.
- Facebook claims 200M+ active users for its Messenger service, and recently took the drastic step (in the name of creating a better experience) of requiring mobile users to download a standalone Messenger app to use the service.
- As with many other products, Facebook has been cautious with its efforts to monetize Messenger. Marcus' hiring could signal a strategy change.
- Marcus won't be running WhatsApp. Facebook has promised WhatsApp will be run independently; co-founder Jan Koum is currently its CEO.
- Marcus has been trying to change PayPal's once-cautious culture since becoming head of the online payments giant in 2012, as well as expand its mobile footprint and improve its customer service (often a target of criticism). He admitted earlier this year a culture clash has formed between PayPal and eBay as he pushed ahead with his changes.
- The PayPal team will report to eBay CEO John Donahoe until Marcus' successor is named.
- EBAY -2.2% AH. FB +0.4%.
Jun. 9, 2014, 1:08 PM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -0.9%) clients saw a 28.1% Y/Y Amazon (AMZN -0.3%) same-store sales increase in May. That's up from April's 27%, and is the highest figure reported for Amazon since last June.
- eBay (EBAY -0.1%), whose Marketplaces ops have been losing share to Amazon's 3rd-party services for some time, saw its same-store growth fall to 11.5% from April's 14% and March's 17.8% - auctions -11.1%, fixed-price +13%, Motors +15.6%. eBay's security breach and Google algorithm changes both appear to have taken a toll.
- Same-store sales driven by search ads - mostly Google (GOOG +0.8%) AdWords - rose 11.7% Y/Y, much better than April's 4.3% - paid clicks +7%, cost per click +4%, conversion rates +7%.
- Google Shopping/product listing ad sales grew 21.4%, up from 7.8% in April. Growing ad buys and a 29.3% increase in click rates offset an 18.7% drop in average order value.
Jun. 9, 2014, 4:54 AM
- Amazon (AMZN) will expand further into the online payments market today by launching its new role of managing subscription payments - starting with start-ups and other companies.
- The service will allow more than 240M users to use credit card details stored on Amazon.com to pay for services such as a monthly phone bill or a digital music subscription. Fees will be charged for each transaction.
- PayPal (EBAY) is set to feel incoming pressure, as Amazon encroaches on the sector it has long dominated.
Jun. 6, 2014, 12:12 PM
- eBay's (EBAY -2.1%) traffic growth declined meaningfully in late May following the rollout of Google search algorithm changes, writes Baird's Colin Sebastian.
- Sebastian also thinks eBay's security breach and pre-Memorial Day softness may have taken a toll.
- An initial analysis from SearchEngine Journal estimated eBay saw a 33% drop in Google search traffic following algorithm changes, and SEO firm Wordstream estimated eBay had "lost around 75%" of its keyword terms from Page 1 of Google's results.
- Like others, Sebastian expects eBay to adapt to Google's changes. He also sees the company buying more of Google's product listing ads (PLAs).
- Previous: Wells Fargo cuts eBay PT on security/search worries
May 28, 2014, 5:01 PM
- "After closely following the Target security breach, we believe that eBay faces some near-term risk of customer churn," writes Wells Fargo, cutting its eBay (EBAY -2.7%) valuation range by $2 to $61-$63.
- The firm also notes the impact of Google's recent search algorithm changes; ChannelAdvisor estimates eBay's average search rank has dropped 3.88 spots. Its 2014 and 2015 EPS estimates have respectively been cut by $0.08 and $0.09 to $2.87 and $3.30.
- Cantor, on the other hand, is defending eBay: The firm thinks the Google issues will be addressed in time, and notes eBay only gets a small portion of its traffic from Google search.
May 25, 2014, 6:42 AM
- eBay (EBAY) didn't believe for a "very long period of time" that customer data had been compromised following a major cyberattack, exec Devin Wenig has said.
- Wenig's comments follow criticism about the delay in informing users - the assault was discovered in early May but was only made public last week.
- eBay doesn't intend to compensate customers or provide free-credit monitoring, as the company hasn't detected any fraud, Wenig said. That's despite New York AG Eric Schneiderman calling for eBay to offer such services.
- Previous coverage
May 23, 2014, 3:16 AM
- Attorneys general in Connecticut, Illinois and Florida are investigating eBay (EBAY) after the auction Web site disclosed this week that a database with encrypted passwords and personal information was breached in February and March.
- New York AG Eric Schneiderman hasn't announced a formal probe into eBay, although he wants the company to provide its customers with free credit-monitoring services, just as Target has done for NY victims of the major cyberattack that the retailer suffered late last year.
May 22, 2014, 2:35 PM
- An analysis done by SearchEngine Journal estimates eBay.com (EBAY -1.1%) has seen a 33% drop in search traffic thanks to Google's (GOOG +1.3%) new Panda 4.0 algorithm update, and InterActiveCorp's (IACI -1.1%) Ask.com a 50% drop.
- Moreover, David Kim, the CEO of SEO firm Wordstream, has done an analysis that suggests eBay has "lost around 75%" of its keyword terms from Page 1 of Google's results, and 80% of its more specific (i.e. long-tail) keyword results.
- Kim blames the falloff on the fact eBay's search traffic tends to involve doorway pages with "very little content," rather than actual product pages. "I’m surprised that Google has allowed these shenanigans to go on for so long."
- He thinks Google's move has the effect of forcing eBay to buy Google's increasingly popular product listing ads (PLAs) to reach search users. eBay is already a PLA client, but (like Amazon) is less dependent on Google ads (and Google traffic in general) than many smaller e-commerce firms.
- The algorithm tweak follows changes to the display of Google's AdWords text search ads that lead them to blend in more with organic results, and thus potentially make them more likely to be clicked.
- eBay and IAC are underperforming amid Panda-related worries, but they're faring much better than RetailMeNot.
May 21, 2014, 9:19 AM| 11 Comments
May 15, 2014, 12:59 PM
- eBay (EBAY -1.2%) launches new localized Spanish and Portuguese versions of its website across South America and Central America in a bid to draw in more traffic.
- The company already has a thriving business on its English-language sites in the region, but sees the new sites as a way to engage consumers in the region on a more personalized manner.
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