In its most recent earnings call, eBay Chief Financial Officer Robert H. Swan qualified 2014 as "not the worst performance, but a year we're glad to have behind us." Unfortunately for the company, performance is still struggling, according to a recent survey from Cowen and Company.
Every month, Cowen and Company surveys 2,500 U.S. consumers to get a read on the e-commerce sector, and while the industry as a whole dropped in February, eBay was the largest decliner year-over-year, marking the eighth straight month of year-over-year declines in visits to its site.
In February 2015, 44.6% of respondents to the Cowen survey visited eBay's site, down 3.2% from January and 2.4% year-over-year. Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report attracted 77.5% of respondents in February, down 4.1% from January and 0.5% over 2014.
"eBay, which has been under pressure since mid 2014, saw its troubles continue in February, as visits declined more than 2% year over year, which reinforces management comments on the fourth-quarter call detailing a deeply challenged Marketplace business unlikely to recover till the second half of 2015," the Cowen analysts wrote.
Actual purchasers on eBay also dropped, decreasing 2% month-over-month, slightly above the industry average, and 0.4% year-over-year, slightly below industry average. It's the only time eBay has outperformed the overall industry average in any metric in the past three quarters.
In February 2015, 22.2% of respondents made a purchase on eBay's site, compared with 56% making a purchase on Amazon.
The numbers add salt to the wounds eBay has been trying to heal through moves such as partnering with Sothebys.
Just a couple of weeks ago, eBay shares dropped more than 2% following a downgrade from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on March 19. Munster lowered his price target for the company to $49 from $55 and downgraded it to "underweight" from "neutral."
Munster pointed to increasing competition in payments as a main concern with the PayPal spinoff approaching.
"We are downgrading shares to 'underweight' based on a belief that over the next 1 to 3 years, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Facebook, Samsung, and traditional banks will weigh on PayPal valuation and market share," Munster wrote.