October 28, 2011, 11:59 AM

Online sales rose nearly 14% in Q3, says Mercent

E-retailer clients selling in Amazon’s marketplace saw sales grow 37%.

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Overall e-retail sales grew 13.6% during the third quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago, according to Mercent Corp.'s eCommerce Performance Index. The index is based on same-seller sales of 80 Mercent clients.

The third quarter marked the 12th consecutive quarter of positive year over year growth, and ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, for retailers working with Mercent, which facilitates retailer sales through online marketplaces like Amazon.com and eBay.com, as well as shopping portals like Google Product Search and comparison shopping engines.

Mercent clients that sell through Amazon’s marketplace program saw sales grow 37% during the third quarter, which Mercent says outpaces organic e-commerce growth. Amazon’s marketplace also led in sales volume for all channels tracked in the index.

However, sales dipped for clients selling through all Google retail sales channels, including Product Search, Product Listing Ads and the Google Affiliate Network, primarily because of Google’s algorithm changes, its stricter selling policies and Google’s shift in focus away from free product advertising platforms like Google Product Search to revenue-generating channels like Dynamic Ads.

"The overall macroeconomic picture continues to beleaguer consumer sentiment—a trend we believe will continue to drive more consumers to the e-commerce channel,” says Mercent CEO Eric Best. “We also believe the proliferation and use of mobile devices serves as an added mechanism enabling consumers to bargain shop and price compare both online and off.”

Based on its analysis of current and historical data, Mercent says it expects the upcoming holiday shopping season will deliver solid double-digit percentage growth in line with last year. Mercent says same-seller sales were up 25.5% during the fourth quarter last year, the quarter that includes most holiday sales.

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