E-Commerce Sales Through Marketplaces Are on a Roller Coaster – Digital Transactions

According to data from Extensiv, an omnichannel fulfillment solutions provider, the surge that drove e-commerce marketplace sales during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic is losing steam.

Growth in average number of orders per merchant through Shopify Inc. is down 12% year-to-date, while other marketplaces including eBay, Etsy, GoogleShopping, Wayfair, Walmart, Yahoo and ZohoInventory have declined 27% year-to-date, according to Extensiv’s Market Insights Index, which tracks orders through e-commerce platforms. Amazon is the only marketplace to see its order volume increase. The e-commerce giant’s volume is up 10% year-to-date.

An omnichannel fulfillment solutions provider, Extensiv, formerly 3PL Central, launched the index on Tuesday in conjunction with a rebranding campaign for the company’s name. The index is compiled from data from 65 million e-commerce orders over which Extensiv has visibility.

Although Extensiv did not ask merchants about the ebb and flow of their online sales, the company says it suspects the drop in average number of orders per merchant is due to a combination of more purchases. in person and more consumers reacting to recent market volatility and rising inflation.

“There are also supply chain disruptions. Some merchants don’t have inventory to ship at this time,” Rachel Trindade, Extensiv’s Marketing Director, says via email. “It hits all major markets. We know UPS is down 8% in first quarter shipments.

Overall, the trend line for e-commerce volume on marketplaces resembles a saw blade, with weekly volumes rising and falling year over year. Over a three-week period beginning the last week of April 2022 (weeks 18-20 of 2022), order volume per merchant for Shopify Inc. , for example, was down 6% in week one, up 17% in week two, and down 10% in week three. Compared to the same period in 2021, Shopify’s volume tended to decline. In week 18 of 2021, volume per marketplace trader decreased by 43%, and by 49% and 30% for weeks 19 and 20 of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.

Compared to other marketplaces, from Amazon volume per merchant remained stable in week 18 and increased by 12% and 22% in weeks 19 and 20 of 2022. The change is welcome compared to the same period in 2021 (weeks 18-20) , when Amazon’s volume was down 70%. %, 73% and 66%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2020.

According to Trindale, one of the reasons Amazon is doing better than other marketplaces is because its brand strength helps protect it from volatility. “Historically, we’ve seen Amazon grow its e-commerce market share every year,” Trindale says. “Amazon’s market share increase is a normal dynamic. This increase may be partly due to merchants continuing to expand through Amazon.

Given the up and down swings in sales volumes that merchants selling on marketplaces are seeing, Trindale says brands and marketplaces need to stay nimble and pay attention to their own business while monitoring macro trends. “First quarter earnings for Shopify, Amazon and UPS showed volatility, and even Amazon gave up some warehouse space last week,” Trindale says.

Nonetheless, Trindale remains optimistic that the sawtooth trendline will eventually reverse. “E-commerce has been experiencing double-digit growth every year for the past few years. We expect a rebound, we just don’t know when it will be,” she said. Extensiv, which says it launched the Market Insights index to provide visibility into fluctuations in e-commerce sales so they can be tracked, will update the index weekly.