First Research US Industry Profile

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Nonstore Retail
SIC Codes: 5961, 7389
NAICS Codes: 4541
Last Quarterly Update: 5/6/2019
Companies in this industry sell merchandise on retail websites, online auctions, mail-order catalogs, toll-free telephone numbers, television shows, or other business channels. Major companies include US-based Amazon, eBay, HSN, QVC, and Newegg, as well as Alibaba Group (China), Argos (UK), JD.com (China), MercadoLibre (Argentina), and Otto Group (Germany).
Nonstore sales mainly take place online. Annual global revenue from e-commerce is about $2.3 trillion, representing about 10% of overall global retail sales, according to eMarketer. Growth is driven by increasing internet use in emerging markets, as well as rising mobile commerce sales. Top countries for e-commerce sales include China, the US, the UK, Japan, and Germany.
The US nonstore retail industry includes about 40,000 employer establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of more than $550 billion. There are also about 150,000 nonemployer establishments with about $8 billion in total annual revenue.
Competitive Landscape
Demand is driven by consumers’ personal income. The profitability of individual online retailers depends on effective marketing and competitive pricing 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% of revenue.
Companies in the internet auctions industry, such as eBay and Taobao in China, generally compete with online retailers and physical retail establishments. Some companies do business in several of those areas, selling items through conventional e-commerce systems in addition to facilitating consumer-to-consumer bids. Online classified listings such as Craigslist and social media apps that connect potential buyers and sellers may also pose a competitive threat.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products sold by internet and mail-order retailers include prescription drugs, health and beauty aids, cosmetics, computer hardware and software, ... plus:
Sales & Marketing
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Finance & Regulation
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Regional & International Issues
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Human Resources
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
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Industry Indicators
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Business Challenges
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Trends and Opportunities
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Call Preparation Questions
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Financial Information
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Industry Forecast
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Industry Websites
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Glossary of Acronyms

Historical Profiles (PDF format)

02/04/2019
10/29/2018
07/30/2018
04/30/2018
01/29/2018
10/23/2017
07/31/2017
05/01/2017
01/30/2017
10/24/2016
07/25/2016
04/25/2016
01/25/2016
10/19/2015
07/20/2015
04/20/2015
01/26/2015