ChannelAdvisor plans to discontinue an eBay management tool

April 20, 2015 04:48 PM

Online marketplaces are like stocks, which means retailers should diversify the channels they sell on, says Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor Corp., which helps retailers sell via web marketplaces like those operated by eBay Inc. and Inc.

“Today eBay is lagging and Amazon is doing well,” he says. “But chances are that won’t last, so you need to broaden your portfolio to reduce your risk.”

The vendor has adopted that approach over the last few years, which is why it plans to eliminate one of its older products, MarketplaceAdvisor Standard, which was mainly used by merchants who only sell on eBay.

ChannelAdvisor acquired MarketplaceAdvisor Standard, then known as Marketworks, in 2007. Even at the time of the acquisition, Wingo emphasized the difference between the two companies—Marketworks’ business was primarily serving eBay sellers, while ChannelAdvisor focused on helping larger retailers sell across a number of channels. Roughly eight years later, ChannelAdvisor decided it no longer made sense to support sellers who just focus on eBay, says a ChannelAdvisor spokesman. “This single-channel solution is no longer a fit for our platform,” he says.

The move comes amid growing evidence that eBay consistently is trailing the growth rate in online retailing.

ChannelAdvisor Corp. last week reported that e-commerce sales for its clients via eBay’s marketplace grew 7.3% in March, up from February’s 5.1% growth rate. That growth was far below Amazon’s 24.6% growth rate for ChannelAdvisor clients selling on the Amazon Marketplace, which jumped from 22.7% in February. EBay’s growth rate was also just over half of e-commerce’s roughly 15% growth rate during the past year. And another report, by Robert W. Baird and Co., found that eBay’s marketplace sales grew 2% to 3% in March, slightly below its February growth levels.

ChannelAdvisor says that as of July 15, eBay sellers will be unable to list items via MarketplaceAdvisor and that it plans to disable storefronts on Aug. 17. It will shutter all access to data on Sept. 14.





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