SOURCE: Mercent

Mercent

April 05, 2011 08:30 ET

Retailers Post Solid Q1 2011 Online Sales; Mercent Reports Moderating eCommerce Growth

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) -   The Mercent eCommerce Performance Index (MEPI), a report that measures year-over-year same-seller gross merchandise value (GMV) for national brand name retailers selling across eCommerce sales channels, today announced summary results for the first quarter FY2011.

Large Brand-Name Retailers Post Solid Q1 2011 eCommerce Results
For the first quarter 2011, same-seller GMV for retailers selling through the Mercent Retail™ online channel management platform grew 19% relative to 1Q2010. Same-seller GMV for Mercent clients participating in Amazon's "Selling on Amazon" third-party marketplace program and through Google Product Search increased in the first quarter by 44% and 26% respectively.

Mercent CEO Eric Best commented, "Based on the Mercent eCommerce Performance Index, online retail experienced solid but decelerating year-over-year growth of 19% in Q1 2011. For comparison, during the last eight consecutive quarters Mercent clients have achieved an average 27% same-seller year-over-year growth rate. Based on Mercent's data and market analysis, we believe the softer Q1 2011 performance figure is a function of (in order of impact) a more challenging 2010 baseline comparable, changing channel performance dynamics particularly with Google, and more cautious U.S. consumer shopping behavior, particularly during the month of March FY2011."

Across its portfolio of more than 160 major retailers generating a forecasted $1.2B in 2011 through the Mercent Retail SAAS platform, Mercent observed the following trends and drivers in Q12011 -- reflecting trailing eCommerce performance in the first quarter and setting the stage for the remainder of FY2011:

  • Year-over-year same seller growth decelerated from January 2011 to March 2011, reflecting a combination of a more challenging FY2010 comparable against which growth was measured, changing channel performance dynamics particularly with Google (see below), and a more cautious U.S. shopper;
  • Google and Amazon continue to lead the eCommerce market in both volume and growth, delivering results for retail advertisers significantly outpacing organic eCommerce performance;
  • Growth from Google's free product advertising program, Google Product Search, is decelerating while growth of paid retail ad programs including Google Product Listing Ads and Product Extensions to AdWords is accelerating. For Mercent's retail clients, Google's paid retail advertising programs delivered 74% more revenue in Q12011 than in Q12010. Further, Google's recent algorithm and user experience changes appear to favor established brands and have begun shifting more eCommerce traffic to local offline, in-store inventory;
  • While deploying important new features to scale its fixed-price marketplace programs, eBay continues to generate growth in-line with organic ecommerce industry trends with Q1 softer than prior recent quarters;
  • Shopping engines and comparison shopping engines (CSEs) trail the industry, posting low single digit growth rates in Q12011; and,
  • Retailer investment in future growth is focused on social networks (namely Facebook), local and mobile shopping programs, and more granular behaviorally targeted display ad campaigns.

Mercent eCommerce Performance Index™ Methodology
The methodology for the Mercent eCommerce Performance Index comparison matches all prior studies and reports retail transactions driven through Mercent's network of online shopping and advertising channels, including comparison shopping engines (CSEs), third-party seller marketplaces, and affiliate programs. To ensure continuity and to eliminate artifact associated with new customer ramp, the Mercent eCommerce Performance Index only references retailers live on the Mercent Retail platform prior to and during the entire reported term. Information regarding Mercent Retail shopping feed management technology, Mercent Performance marketing services, and the complete list of online marketing channels in the Mercent Shopping Network are available at www.mercent.com.

About Mercent
Mercent ensures the world's leading retailers are visible, competitive and profitable wherever consumers are shopping online. Through its award-winning Mercent Retail™ SAAS technology and Mercent Performance™ professional services, Mercent helps the world's most successful online merchants including 1-800-Flowers, Bass Pro Shops, GUESS?, L'Occitane USA, REI and others, maximize their online shopping channel marketing performance to drive inventory velocity, customer acquisition, revenues and profits. Supported online shopping destinations include Amazon.com, Google, eBay, Bing, comparison shopping engines (CSEs), affiliate networks, social shopping sites, and paid search and display advertising campaigns. The company was founded by a seasoned team of Amazon.com veterans and is a venture-funded company based in Seattle, WA. For more information, visit www.mercent.com.

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