“Internet sales accounted for almost 40% of the United States’ retail sales growth in 2015.”
Launched in 1999, Internet Retailer Magazine is one of the top resources available for objective business information, market trends and profiling entities that are shaping the e-commerce industry.
This past April, ClickBank had the honor of being named 87th on their list of top 500 Internet retailers in the United States and Canada. While it is a huge honor for us to be within the top 100, what is even more exciting is the wealth of information Internet Retailer amassed within their annual report.
Up, Up and… Back Down?
Perhaps the most notable finding on this year’s Top 500 Guide is the relationship between the U.S’s overall e-commerce sales and the sales of the businesses that made this year’s 500 list. Perplexed? Let’s elaborate:
Each year, Internet Retailer Magazine measures total sales growth of the 500 businesses on their list against the total sales growth of the U.S e-commerce market (as made available by the U.S Commerce Department). For the first time since 2009 the sales growth of these 500 businesses was outpaced by the market as a whole.
What caused this you might ask? For the last seven years, online retailer behemoths Sears Holdings Corp, Land’s End, Barnes and Noble and Staples have dominated positions within the top 10 for overall Internet sales. However, this year things took a nose-dive. Collectively, these four retailers slipped 5.3% in 2015 moving the needle down for everyone by quite a large margin.
So what does this show? Innovation is key. In order to keep in line with the rest of the e-commerce market businesses like the four above will need to challenge themselves to rethink their strategies and adapt the every-changing needs of today’s consumers.Innovation is key. In order to keep in line with the rest of the e-commerce market businesses like the four above will need to challenge themselves to rethink their strategies and adapt to the ever-changing needs of today’s consumers.
Amazon; It’s a Jungle Out There
Unsurprisingly, Amazon continues to sit high and mighty as the number one Internet retailer in the United States. But, what is even more interesting, is just how far above the rest of the pack they truly are.
In this year’s Top 500 list, Amazon only supplied overall sales from self-sold products. Meaning, the nearly 47% of products and services sold by it’s some two million marketplace sellers went unaccounted for.
“When combining Amazon’s sales of its own goods to U.S customers plus the value of goods sold by other retailers on its marketplace, e-commerce service firm ChannelAdvisor Corp. estimates $112.8 billion was transacted on Amazon.com and its various e0commerce properties in 2015 in the United States.” –Internet Retailer Magazine
Enough About Them, What About Us?
For ClickBank’s first year on the list, position 87 is nothing to shake a stick at. This year, our web sales put us above the following household names:
• The Microsoft Corp.
• Scholastic Inc.
• Under Armour Inc.
And leading clothing retailers:
• LuLu Lemon
• Express Inc,
• The Men’s Warehouse Inc.
Narrowing the field down to business who distribute eBooks, ClickBank jumped up the charts to position five, just barely behind retailers like Apple Inc. and Google Play.
2016 and Beyond
Dethroning Amazon as the number one retailer in the US is a bit of a pipe-dream at this point, but there are a number of things retailers can implement in order to remain competitive amongst others on the list.
Amazon will most likely always out-perform smaller retailers on run-of-the-mill type products. The key to remaining competitive against these super-sellers is all about product offering. By offering consumers a unique product mix, one Amazon has yet to monopolize, sellers can look to get a leg up on a market which would otherwise be dominated by the spending power of larger corporations.
Other retailers are looking to makes moves by re-imagining traditional fulfillment practices. Several of the top retailers who made this year’s list operate in the mattress industry. An industry that has traditionally operated in a brick and mortar retail environment. These storefronts are comprised of several thousand feet of space and only serve to sell a few mattresses a week, a practice which is pretty cost-inefficient.
Company’s like Casper Sleep are flipping this idea on its head by moving exclusively online and deploying guerrilla marketing tactics such as urban “sleep vans” which travel to areas of heavy foot traffic and offer pedestrians an opportunity to take one of their mattresses for a spin in their self-coined, “sleep pods”. And guess what? It’s working. Last year alone, Casper Sleep brought in a reported $75 million in online sales, with a fraction of the overhead of it’s competitors.
For more great insights like these and the full run-down on this year’s top 500 (including even more detailed stats on ClickBank), check out Internet Retailers 2016 guide right here.
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