March 29, 2011, 4:21 PM

Top 500 web-only merchants hit the fast track

Collective annual sales increase 34.3%.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

Web-only merchants and consumer brand manufacturers continue to grow faster than the rest of the business-to-consumer e-commerce market, according to the latest analysis of data for Internet Retailer’s forthcoming 2011 Top 500 Guide.

Combined revenue for the 219 merchants that have so far reported annual web sales increased 22.6% to $86.59 billion in 2010 from $70.64 billion in 2009. Web-only merchants continue to be the fastest growing merchant category with combined sales that grew year over year 34.3% to $48.47 billion from $36.10 billion.

The results for the web-only merchants include Amazon.com Inc., whose sales grew nearly 40% last year to $34.2 billion. But even without Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, sales for the remaining online-only retailers grew year over year 23.1% to $14.27 billion from $11.59 billion.

The group posting the next biggest annual gain in web sales was consumer brand manufacturers which collectively increased their sales year over year 27.1% to $1.12 billion from $881.5 million.

The analysis of 120 web-only merchants, 51 retail chains, 34 catalog/call center companies and 14 consumer brand manufacturers also reveals:

  • Store-based retailers continue to generate more business from their e-commerce channel. The combined web sales of chain retailers grew 10.3% to $30.15 billion last year from $27.33 billion in 2009.
  • Catalogers posted the lowest growth rate among the four categories of Top 500 merchant in 2010, growing web sales 7.7% year over year to $6.84 billion from $6.35 billion.
  • Without Amazon, the remaining 218 merchants experienced annual growth of 13.6% from sales of $46.13 billion in 2009 to $52.39 billion in 2010.

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