The Web’s Largest Retailers

STORES Magazine, the official publication of the National Retail Federation, has surveyed more than 1,000 households to find the 100 largest retailers on the Web.

The survey was intended to measure where online shoppers have actually made purchases in the last year, how much they spent over a 12-month period, and how pleased they were with the experience. The sites are ranked according to estimated consumer sales, a figure compiled from a national survey of Internet buyers.

Nearly half of the companies ranked on the list consider e-commerce their primary channel, and all can trace their brief selling history back to five years or less. Twenty-one of the Web sites ranked in the top 100 are traditional retailers at heart, while 25 of the sites had reputations as catalog and direct mail operators. According to the survey, the success of traditional retailers on the Web has a lot to do with their marketing of established brands and their advantage in the realm of customer service.

The Top 10
Rank Retailer
1. eBay
2. Amazon
3. Dell
6. Gateway
9. CDNow
10. AOL
To see more of the list, click here.
Source: STORES

Computers and related products remain one of the most sought-after categories on the Internet, with 27 e-tailers having computer hardware and/or software as their primary offering.

Apparel retailers and retailers with a broad selection are showing they can successfully make the transition to the Internet channel. The research found that online shoppers gravitate to recognizable and trusted brand names and that traditional stores with established brands, such as Macy’s and Nordstrom, have a key advantage when they go online.

Nor longer considered a passing fad, online auctions have become positive drivers of e-commerce and a new vehicle for conducting global business. The auction sites have quickly established a new medium and are reshaping the price-value equation in the customer’s mind. Three auction sites (eBay, uBid, and are in the STORES top 13.

Not surprisingly, books and music continue to be an enticing draw for online shoppers. One-third of all Web buyers surveyed reported they shop at, while 10 percent have made a purchase at CDNow is the most popular music retailer, the study found, shopped by 8.7 percent of Web buyers, followed by Columbia House (3.7 percent) and BMGMusic (2.6 percent). Overall, the survey estimates combined spending on books and music is in the range of $1.4 to $1.7 billion.

“When talking about Internet retailing, it’s important to keep in mind that it is still in its infancy,” said STORES publisher Rick Gallagher. “I think as we get into the holiday season, we’ll see shoppers becoming more comfortable with online shopping and spend more freely. Once that happens I think this list will be completely transformed.”

A total of 1,135 households were surveyed, and they identified more than 700 different e-commerce sites. Web sites offering financial services, automobiles, or travel services were excluded from the list.

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