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Amazon continues to grow

Updated on January 12, 2009

How Did Amazon perform last year?

As part of the follow up to the "Top 10 Websites".  Amazon was ranked number 11 and Ebay number 8 for the year 2008.  However in terms of business and the current economy, how did Amazon perform?  From the reviews I have read, and the fact that Amazon has branched away from just books.  How does it compare?

Let's take a first look at a chart from their press release. 

Again as for the past 14 years, Amazon posted new records. So all of us who are associates that is good news. If you want to read some quirks on the volume of goods moved by Amazon you can get them here. Quirks such as

  •  Amazon shipped to over 210 countries.
  •  One of our most remote shipments was Take Along Thomas & Friends toys, delivered to Unalaska, Alaska.
  •  On the peak day this season, Amazon's worldwide fulfillment network shipped over 5.6 million units.
  •   Amazon shipped over 169,000 units to APO/FPO addresses.
  •   Amazon shipped more than 99 percent of orders in time to meet holiday deadlines worldwide.

There is the 'on time' for 99%, that's great for customer relations and will go the distance for them. Not only that but it is consistent too.

But how does this stock with a comparison to the economy. Let's do some numbers here:

  • Overall Retail sales (excluding gasoline) -2% for November and -4% for December 1-24 for 2008 over 2007
  • E-commerce fared better -2.3% (by MasterCard reports) or -3% (ComScore estimates) for the period Nov !st to Dec. 24th.
  • Now according to categories -electronics -26%
  • Luxury sales including jewelry -34%
  • Clothing sales -20%

Consumer spending is down, and things considered along the lines as not necessary to life are being trimmed. Amazon delivers on time and discounted goods thus attracting thrift buyers.

So according to ComScore how was the top internet businesses doing. When can check more on ComSore's numbers.

eBay lost ground, and Amazon continued to grow as a retailer. Fact is the biggest gainers where Hewett-Packard (well known for their Computers and printers), Apple Inc (iPhones, iPods), and then Amazon. These all showed strong growth in these turbulent times. The others three, store box retailers showed some growth Wal-Mart, Sears and Macy's.

With the drop in eBay unique hit's it isn't too surprising with their layoffs coming either in this rather tight economy. Also from Hitwise (an Experian company), who where the buyers on the internet?

It should be of note according to Hitwise, that the upper income household bracket  $150,000 dropped by -12.33% in internet shopping traffic.  Is it because of heavey losses in all the markets?  Is their income shrinking rapidly?
It should be of note according to Hitwise, that the upper income household bracket $150,000 dropped by -12.33% in internet shopping traffic. Is it because of heavey losses in all the markets? Is their income shrinking rapidly?

Finally how does Amazon's trend compares to eBay's.  Not on the financial end but from search terms.  Amazon has been slowly gaining ground against eBay, and in particular excels during the Christmas season (like most typical retailers, this probably their bread and butter season).  Starting around October Amazon's searches are starting to ramp up for the Holiday season.

For the most part eBay does show some growth spurts during the same time frame, but at a far lesser level.  Plus more cycles, and seemingly progressing upward climb.  The Holiday bump is more noticeable on just the U.S. snapshot.  Also to eBay's credit it is more internationally searched for than Amazon. 

On a Worldwide basis.  eBay searches seem to be flattening out.
On a Worldwide basis. eBay searches seem to be flattening out.
For the U.S. the gap is closing but slowly.  Amazon demonstrates in both the classic Holiday spike.
For the U.S. the gap is closing but slowly. Amazon demonstrates in both the classic Holiday spike.

Final Conclusion

Amazon may be going against what is happening economically and that is good news and encouraging.  But is it.

Amazon may be gaining ground that is true, but at who's expense.  Much like Wal-Mart has gained, there where losers in a lot of communities.  It required change to meet the change Wal-Mart brought.  Amazon prospered - yes.  But in that did it merely also contribute to the problem, possibly speed it up.  Where they'll shake out in the next year could be interesting.  If you add to the problem you are not part of the solution.

Just some food for thought.  Cheers. 

 

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