Feeds

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

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.