|Last Quarterly Update:||5/11/2015|
|NAICS Codes:||454111, 454113|
|Industry Overview||Trends & Challenges||Industry Forecast|
|Quarterly Industry Update||Call Prep Questions||Website & Media Links|
|Business Challenges||Financial Information||Glossary & Acronyms|
Companies in this industry sell products directly to consumers via the Internet, TV, or mail order. Major companies include the US-based Amazon, HSN, J Crew, and Liberty Interactive (parent company of QVC), as well as Shop Direct Home Shopping (based in the UK), Otto Group (Germany), and Rakuten (Japan).
Globally, annual e-commerce revenue exceeds $1.3 trillion, according to eMarketer. Growth is driven in large part by rapidly expanding online and mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in mobile commerce sales, and the push into new international markets by major brands.
The Internet and mail-order retail industry in the US includes about 30,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $350 billion. Over the past five years, the bulk of the industry's revenue has shifted from catalog to Internet sales. While most brick-and-mortar retailers have an online presence and many also offer catalog sales, this profile focuses on retailers who use the Internet or catalogs as their sole or primary sales channel.
Demand is driven by consumers’ personal income. Profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing to build a customer base. Larger firms enjoy central purchasing efficiencies and economies of scale in inventory management, customer service, and telecommunications. Smaller firms compete on outstanding customer service and providing niche products. The industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 60 percent of industry revenue.
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