Our friends over at Internet Retailer are about to unveil their annual Top 500 Guide of the biggest web merchants out there on May 10, and it’s a resource guide that we recommend to anyone involved with e-commerce.
A few days before the official release date, however, IR has already put out the Guide’s top ten list and it’s full of big names and heavy hitters within the e-commerce industry. Already well-established as industry leaders, this group took an even bigger slice of the overall online shopping pie in 2009, according to Internet Retailer.
Sitting atop the list yet again is Amazon, the clear market leader, which reported $24.51 billion in sales in 2009, up almost 28 percent from the $19.17 billion it had in 2008. The introduction of the Kindle e-reader certainly helped drive Amazon’s success last year, as did their $900 million acquisition of web shoe giant Zappos.
The entire top ten is as follows, with their 2009 sales totals and percentage of change from the previous year:
1. Amazon (AMZN)
2. Staples Inc (SPLS): $9.8 billion, up 27.3 percent
3. Dell Inc (DELL): $4.53 billion, down 6.2 percent
4. Apple Inc (AAPL): $4.25 billion, up 16.7 percent
5. Office Depot (ODP): $4.1 billion, down 14.6 percent
6. Wal-Mart.com (WMT): $3.5 billion, up 19.8 percent
7. OfficeMax (OMX): $2.78 billion, down 10 percent
8. Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD): $2.77 billion, up 3 percent
9. CDW Corp. (CDW): $2.47 billion, down 5 percent
10. Best Buy (BBY): $2.45 billion, up 20 percent
That’s a pretty impressive line-up. According to Internet Retailer, those ten outlets accounted for more than 45 percent of all U.S. e-commerce sales in 2009 ($134.9 billion total), and 48 percent of all sales within the overall Top 500. As a group, they increased their sales in 2009 by 14 percent as well.
So how are they doing it? After all, 2009 wasn’t exactly a banner year for the U.S. economy and yet even with half of this top ten list reporting a decrease in sales, they managed to grab almost half of all online sales during the year.
Besides having strong name recognition and brand awareness, these retailers re-focused their efforts on their most loyal customers last year and generated strong sales by offering large quantities of merchandise with plenty of discount deals and a superior online shopping experience. Amazon, for example, continues to be an industry leader in outstanding customer service despite its large size, offering smaller retailers a lesson that more often than not, good customer relations and service is perhaps the most important ingredient to e-commerce success.
Head over to InternetRetailer.com to learn more about the annual Top 500 Guide or to order your own copy. In the meantime, leave us your thoughts and comments about your own experiences with any of the retailers here in the top ten!