1. Web

Report: Half of online retail goes to Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba

Amazon Jeff Bezos

Most people probably think the Internet is awash in online stores and businesses willing to sell something to consumers via the Web—and while that may very well be true, a new report from Companiesandmarkets.com finds the worldwide online retail marketplace is actually very consolidated. According to the report, during June 2011 fully half of all online retail visits worldwide went to just three companies: Amazon.com, eBay, and China’s Alibaba.

Overall, Companiesandmarkets.com found that about 20 percent of worldwide online retail traffic went to Amazon.com alone, with the retailer receiving over 280 million visitors during the month. Online auction site and retailer eBay wasn’t far behind with a 16 percent share of worldwide retail traffic, and China’s Alibaba garnered around 14 percent.

The report also finds that mega-retailer Walmart is a surprisingly strong player, coming in sixth overall and overtaking Amazon and Sony in movie sales.

Companiesandmarkets.com speculates that the dominance of the Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba has a lot to do with online retail aggregators that pull sales information from a variety of sites and offer comparison shopping features. The report also notes that Google’s recent changes to its search algorithms will impact these aggregators’ businesses, lowering their ranking in search results relative to sites that carry original content. Also, Google is itself getting further into the retail aggregation and price-comparison game with the acquisition of services like Sparkbuy and Beatthatquote.com, possibly as part of its reported revision of Google Product Search.

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