While ecommerce platforms like Amazon have seen a steady increase in sales over the past few years, the same can’t be said for everyone: eBay and Jet.com’s sales are decreasing.
According to MarketPulse, eBay sales in the U.S. went down by 9% in the fourth quarter of 2019, and the number of items sold globally decreased by 4%. eBay’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) also slipped—in 2018, it was $89.8 billion, but in 2019, that number dropped to $85.5 billion.
Walmart’s Jet.com had a similar struggle in 2019, though their numbers are far more dramatic. Site traffic dipped to a record-breaking low in December 2019 with 1.4 million visits—compare that to December 2016 when Jet had 33 million visits. Traffic on Jet was slashed by 82.5% in December 2019 compared to 2018, and according to MarketPulse, the site is “one announcement away from being offline.”
According to eBay’s interim CEO Scott Schenkel, eBay’s low sales can be attributed to two things: the company’s decision to reduce marketing that isn’t attracting buyers with high lifetime spending and increased internet sales tax.
eBay’s choice to pack its search results with sponsored ads may also have something to do with it, according to MarketPulse. Third-party merchants are having to spend more on fees in order to compete, meanwhile eBay has struggled to capture the traditional retail market like Amazon has as it’s transitioned away from auctions. In its attempts to stay relevant and competitive, eBay has struggled to catch up, even while being second only to Amazon in terms of sales.
Jet’s low sales tell another story. In 2016, Walmart purchased Jet in an attempt to increase its reach to urban and millennial buyers. Jet failed to live up to those expectations, and Walmart has since drastically cut advertising for the site. Jet’s retail, technology, marketing, analytics, and product teams have been integrated into Walmart’s online business instead, Reuters reports.
Is it worth it to sell on online channels outside of Amazon when companies like eBay and Jet are struggling to catch up?
Amazon is a big fish in the ecommerce pond, and while it’s easy to assume the company’s cornered the entire online market—Amazon had a 20.5% sales increase in 2019 and its product sales were up 13.1% from 2018—other online retail platforms are thriving. Walmart is one.
As it’s shifted to become a leader in online grocery delivery, Walmart has seen its yearly online sales numbers increase. As of November 2019, Walmart’s online platform had seen a 41% increase in sales ahead of its expected growth rate for the year. Not only is Walmart seeing sales growth, but it’s easier for third-party merchants to compete there than it is for them to compete on Amazon.
Walmart’s widespread physical presence allows them to use their stores as warehouses and move product to customers quicker and cheaper than they might get them through Amazon. Merchants also pay less fees on Walmart than they do on Amazon. Jet might be on its way out, but Walmart has found ways to be relevant and sellers are finding success using it as part of their omni-channel presence.
Another channel that could be optional for your online sales is Google Shopping. While Amazon has picked up most ecommerce searches, buyers using Google Shopping are taking less time to complete a purchase. Shoppers using Google typically know exactly what they want to purchase. Google operates differently than Amazon, but it’s another platform continuing to compete in 2020.
It’s important to keep in mind that while platforms like Jet seem to be on their way out, eBay is still competing for the time being—it still ranks number three beneath Amazon and Walmart when it comes to online platforms. Time will tell if eBay, like sellers looking to move more product online, can adapt or die.
Want to know more about omni-channel selling and how your brand can compete online? Contact one of our experts at Pattern at (888) 881-7576 or read more on the Pattern blog.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.