EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2686 - December 01, 2011     1 of 4

Marketplaces See Slower Growth Rates on Cyber Monday 2011

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Online sales on Cyber Monday were up 22% over last year, according to ComScore, at a record $1.25 billion, but marketplaces saw varying results. Data suggests eBay had an under-whelming growth rate of 10% from its larger merchants while Amazon saw between 35% - 52% growth on Monday from large merchants. Neither marketplace had growth rate as strong as last year, when eBay grew 14.6% over 2009, and Amazon grew between 75% to 98.1% over 2009. Most (but not all) smaller marketplaces saw better year-over-year growth on Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday.

While marketplaces did not reveal Monday's dollar or unit sales, two vendors that support medium to large retailers shared sales-growth data for their clients who sell on eBay and Amazon on a same-seller basis (to help make an apples-to-apples comparison). Mercent reported that same-seller sales for Amazon sellers on Cyber Monday grew 35% year-over-year, and grew 29% across all channels (including Amazon), making it the strongest online spending day to date in 2011. The company does not break out eBay data.

ChannelAdvisor saw same-seller sales on Amazon increase 52% on Cyber Monday year-over-year, but only saw 10% year-over-year growth on eBay. ChannelAdvisor also noted on Tuesday that its customers had sold more on Amazon year-to-date than in the past six years combined.

A third vendor, Outright, which supports sole proprietors selling on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, saw clients' sales grow 68% on Cyber Monday compared to last year. Outright Vice President of Marketing Laura Messerschmitt said that did not reflect results from big merchants, but rather, was representative of the "small guys." She also said that in addition to seeing big gains on Amazon, it appeared that a larger percentage of Amazon sales were going to third-party sellers than last year.

Etsy sellers sold 80% more than last year on Cyber Monday, and the number of shops with sales on Cyber Monday increased by 61%. The average sales per shop increased 11%. Etsy said over 15 million visitors came to the site between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Bonanza saw Cyber Monday growth of about 100%, compared to Black Friday growth of about 30%. Founder Bill Harding attributed that to Cyber Monday promotions and more widespread awareness of Cyber Monday.

eCrater founder Dimitar Slavov said the marketplace had its best sales day ever on Cyber Monday, with sales up 73% compared to last year.

Atomic Mall founder Mike Shannon said his site had its highest grossing day on Black Friday, when year-over-year sales grew 79% compared to 30% on Cyber Monday.

Ruby Lane and TIAS saw lower growth rates than general marketplaces - both are mature marketplaces in the antiques & collectibles niche market. RubyLane.com sales volume was up 22%, and the number of buyers was up 23% over 2010 figures. The company will release more details next week. TIAS saw Cyber Monday sales growth of 11%.

Holiday shopping is far from over. Luke Knowles, who founded FreeShippingDay, pointed to a Consumer Reports study that showed consumers can save an average of 5% more on recommended higher ticket items by waiting until after Cyber Monday. There's usually another spike in holiday sales on Free Shipping Day, which falls on December 16 this year.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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