Connecting Thread Of Struggling Retailers In Shadow Of Amazon's Growth

Not surprisingly, Amazon tops the list of Jumpshot's analysis of more than 1.5 billion digital transactions during the first nine months in 2019 -- more than four times the number for eBay, 20 times more than Walmart, and 66 times more than Target.

Amazon's growth rate of 3.1%, or 1.4 million more transactions, continues to accelerate and translates to 40 million more transactions compared with a year ago.

The analysis identifies the companies that are up and the companies that are down, and why. The data reflect transactions on desktop computers and mobile web on Android phones. iOS devices and app usage are not included in this analysis.

Interestingly, more than one in ten product page views on Amazon are sponsored, which doubled in the past two years. Brands will increasingly have to pay for placement, particularly given that more than 90% of product views on Amazon begin with searches, and the vast majority of clicks are concentrated in the top few listings, according to the data.



Amazon’s transition from marketplace to brand-creator and advertising platform have been well documented. Its private-label business has remained modest, but yet year-over-year sales of private labels now account for about 27%.

Jumpshot identifies the “Big Five” sites that routinely top their lists of transaction volume. Amazon tops the list, followed by eBay, which continues to decline. Walmart, Etsy, and Target round out the five.

The report identifies three digital companies as “darlings.” These include Chewy, Wayfair, and Aliexpress. Home Depot, Costco, Kohl’s and Macy’s are known for their large bring-and-mortar footprint.

Every product category has room to grow. The U.S. Commerce Department reports that only 11% of retail sales are online. Sites with declining online transactions in growing markets likely face serious challenges.

Some are not growing. The connecting thread among struggling retailers -- Zulilly, QVC, JCPenney and Victoria’s Secret -- point to being out-of-sync with broader consumer trends.

Consider, for example, the Qurate Retail Group, which owns three retailers our list, but all are struggling: QVC, -15.5%; HSN, 1.5%; and Zulilly, –26.5%.

For HSN and QVC, it has been the perfect storm of changing media preferences and changing tastes: both have struggled with transitioning from their TV-based heritage to digital media, and to connect with younger consumers, and to leverage trends toward higher-quality or more personally crafted products.

Zulilly’s challenges are more distinct but equally out of step. It depicts a business model that emphasizes daily sales and unpredictable inventory, a web experience that aggressively requires an email opt-in, and long delivery times.



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