Smaller merchants who run their own online stores saw high growth in July, August and September compared to the same period a year ago, according to an analysis conducted by Bigcommerce. Growth was aided by back-to-school shoppers, the company found.
It’s not easy to estimate how small independent sellers are doing thanks to a dearth of data, so the Bigcommerce data provides an interesting glimpse. The company looked at data from 55,000 US-based small- and mid-sized merchants who host their ecommerce stores on the Bigcommerce platform. It found that gross merchandise volume (GMV) was 25% higher in the third quarter compared to the same period a year ago. But the data showed variation depending on product categories.
Merchants in Lifestyle & Home had the strongest-performing product category for Q3 2014 with a 71% year-over-year increase in GMV.
Automotive & Industrial saw a 62% growth in GMV; while Fashion, Beauty & Bridal and Computers & Electronics both saw a 56% increase in GMV.
Hobbies & Travel saw a 28% increase in GMV and a 24% decrease in average order value (AOV); Bigcommerce said that indicates consumers shifted discretionary spending to devices and digital goods.
Bigcommerce also sliced and diced its data to create a list of top-ten U.S. cities for online selling based on aggregate sales and purchasing volume (Los Angeles topped the list), and it found New York, Houston and Chicago were the top U.S. cities for purchases.
More data from the Bigcommerce Quarterly Ecommerce Report can be found on the Bigcommerce website.
Note: Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) is the total value of goods sold through the Bigcommerce platform. Average Order Value (AOV) is the mean dollar amount customers spend per order.