Amazon accounts for the majority of Q3 online sales growth

The e-retailer drove 82% of e-commerce growth in Q3 for publicly traded online retailers. In its newly released quarterly report, Internet Retailer analyzes the latest financial results for publicly traded online retailers and e-commerce vendors.

Many large publicly traded retailers posted big gains in web sales in the third quarter of 2016, driving e-commerce growth in the United States during the period. But the gains are largely attributable to e-retail giant Inc.

Internet Retailer’s exclusive quarterly financial report for the third quarter shows that the 32 publicly held companies that break out e-commerce sales on a quarterly basis grew 22.5% in the quarter to $41.32 billion, up from $33.73 billion in the same period of 2015. By comparison, the U.S. Commerce Department reports that total e-retail sales for the quarter grew by 15.6%. That suggests that the publicly traded online retailers outperformed the rest of the industry, thereby grabbing market share.

But a closer look reveals that Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, accounted for 81.7% of the quarter’s web revenue growth reported by the 32 publicly held web merchants tracked in the report. Including sales of its own products and the commissions and fees it receives from marketplace sellers, Amazon’s third quarter revenue increased 26.7% to $29.48 billion from $23.27 billion a year ago. That figure does not include revenue from its cloud storage service, Amazon Web Services, which totaled $3.23 billion during the quarter, Amazon reported in October.

Factoring out Amazon’s sales, the other 31 public e-retailers in the report grew web sales just 13.3%. What’s more, excluding Amazon, 13 of the e-retailers in the study grew faster than the 13% average growth, with web merchants like Ulta Beauty (No. 153) and Wayfair Inc. (No. 24) exceeding the 50% rate, while 18 grew slower than the average, including four that suffered web sales declines in the quarter.

Some say this growth rate may not be a good sign for retailers that aren’t Amazon.
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