Feeds

Amazon.com trumps other online retailers' sales by HOW much?!

SEC queries Bezos & Co.'s competition, citing dodgy reports to investors

High performance access to file storage

It should come as no surprise that Amazon.com is the galactic leader in online retail sales, but what may be surprising is exactly how epic its lead is.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently wrote to "about a dozen" online retailers, The Wall Street Journal reports, asking for "hard details" about the amount of stuff they sell through their websites.

"The agency is concerned that retailers are hyping their Web prowess by claiming high percentage growth rates while failing to disclose how much that growth affects total sales," the WSJ says.

"Percentage growth", of course, is a tried and true dodge to disguise real sales-increase numbers. After all, if you have a market share of 0.5 per cent, and you grow that to 1 per cent, you can claim a 100 per cent growth rate. Which figure would you prefer to trumpet to your investors, an actual market share growth of 0.5 per cent, or a growth rate of 100 per cent?

Target, for example, recently told investors that its online sales growth has been in the double-digits, the WSJ reports, but when asked by the SEC for actual numbers, the company said that "digital sales represented an immaterial amount of total sales."

According to trade-news website Internet Retailer, Target might as well throw in the towel if its goal is to even remotely challenge Amazon's hegemony. According to that publication's figures, Amazon sells more online than its 12 top competitors combined.

Amazon's sales compared with those of other online retailers, 2003 through 2012

It's not even close – and getting less so (click to enlarge, or click here for interactive chart)

Not only is Amazon crushingly far ahead, but its online take is growing while the sales of other online retailers slips. Office-supply giants Staples and Office Depot, for example, are experiencing online-sales slumps, as is Dell. Even companies that are experiencing high-percentage growth rates – Apple and Wal-Mart, for example – remain more than $50bn behind Amazon's juggernaut.

On the whole, online sales remain a small part of the US retail economy, but they are growing – if slowly. According to the US Commerce Department, such sales totaled 5.8 per cent of all US retail sales in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 0.7 per cent from the same quarter last year.

Or, looked at in a different way, online retail sales experienced a double-digit growth rate of nearly 14 per cent. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.