|Last Quarterly Update:||11/18/2013|
|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 to consumers via the Internet or mail order. Major companies include Amazon, LL Bean, Liberty Interactive, and Overstock (all based in the US), as well as N Brown Group (the UK), Otto Group (Germany), and Rakuten (Japan).
Globally, revenue from Internet and mail-order retailing totals more than $1 trillion annually. Growth is driven in large part by the expanding middle class and broadband access in developing countries around the world.
The Internet and mail-order retail industry in the US includes about 20,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $270 billion. Key growth drivers are consumer spending habits and technology innovations.
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.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Although Internet and mail-order retailers sell a variety ...
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