Feeds

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

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.