Home Report: Economy May be Slow, but Online Sales are Going Strong

Report: Economy May be Slow, but Online Sales are Going Strong

Given the current economic climate, everybody is looking for some positive news, and according to the latest data from online metrics service Compete, the top online retailers in the U.S. are faring quite well during this holiday season. Compete looked at the statistics for total unique visitors to the top ten online retail sites and found that they are significantly ahead of last year’s performance.

Compete also specifically looked at Amazon, which had about 460 million unique visitors during all of last year’s holiday season. This year, Amazon already surpassed this number around December 10th.

It is important to point out, however, that not every site is doing so well. Just yesterday, Compete listed some of the biggest winners and losers among online retailers during the first two weeks of December. While the online photo service Snapfish, for example, saw its business grow by 57%, its competitor Shutterfly saw its traffic decline slightly by -1% (though chances are that Oprah effect played a significant role here as well). Abercrombie.com lost over 23%, Blockbuster 22%, and 123inkjets.com 86%. The popular online electronics retailer Newegg.com, on the other hand, saw its traffic grow by almost 100%.

While a lot of daily traffic itself doesn’t necessarily translate into great sales, Compete’s data fits in well with a recent report from CitiGroup (pdf), which reported a healthy growth at Amazon and Buy.com in December 1-15 sales, though this growth was mostly driven by advertising and aggressive discounting. JupiterResearch also came to a similar conclusion earlier this month.

We will have to wait until the end of the holiday shopping season to draw any final conclusions from this data (especially with regards to actual sales), but so far, it looks like at least the larger online retailers might be bucking the overall economic trends.

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