Posted June 11, 2008 9:31 am by with 7 comments

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Today, Internet Retailer released their annual Top 500 Guide that chronicles the online retail industry in general and the top 500 online retailers in particular. As I am listening to their presentation of the report, I am typing these highlights.

Total E-Retail revenue hit $166 billion in the US in 2007, representing 6.3% of total revenue. The top 500 online retailers accounted for 61% of the total E-Retail revenue. Total retail growth was at 3.8% last year while E-Retail grew at a much healthier 21.8%.

The fastest growing categories in 2007 online were jewelry (36%), books/other media (32%), mass merchants/dept. stores (31%) and apparel (24%). The slowest growing categories were health and beauty (11%), flowers/gifts (11%), food/drugs (12%), and hardware/home improvement (13%).

Internet Retailer segments online retailers into four categories—retail chains, web only companies, catalogers, and manufacturers. Strangely, catalogers grew the fastest at 30% and the retail chains grew the slowest at 18%. This is interesting because retail chains are in the best position to capitalize on the multi-channel advantage.

Amazon dominated in 2007 with $14.8 billion in revenue and growth at 38.2%. grew 50% and Apple saw growth of 33.3%.

The big players with the biggest declines in sales? Palm shrunk 45%, Sharper Image dropped 33% and Gateway lost 33% (Wow!).

There are many other nuggets in the report that I will get to later.

  • The bottom of the list is certainly getting to be a much higher bar. A couple years ago, the 3 million range would do it. Now, you’ve got to sell quite a bit more. I’m not too discouraged with our number falling as long as sales continue to increase.

  • Very confusing signals. As you are aware, I am quite involved in the retail business and am looking forward to more information from you. Thanks.

  • As fuel prices increase and the cost of broadband come down (here in za in any case, the broadband) we will see less shopping at retail outlets and more online shopping. When companies don’t have the expensive shopfront to maintain they can offer similar prices and free delivery via localised networks. Consumers are inherently lazy, and the cost of transport will compound this.

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  • Now I know why there is no increase in sales for beauty products (related to the traffic increase), probably I need to concentrate my efforts in selling more jewelry. It is interesting to know who buys more jewelry – man or women?

  • this is very good information to have to see where online retail is going, I know in the offline retail everything is in transition right now. I too agree that with the price of travel online retail sales is only going to grow.

  • I am looking for a list of small internet retailers. Any ideas where I can find one?