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E-Commerce and Online Stores

SIC 5961 | NAICS 454110

The following guide to industry analysis, trends, and statistics provides sources for industry news and information, market research reports, financial ratios, salary surveys, and more.

For guides to other industries, see our index.

Industry Analysis, Trends, Statistics, and Forecasts

E-Commerce & Online Auctions  (view report)
Online Retail Sales by Product Category  (view reports)

Comprehensive market research reports provide in-depth industry analysis and five-year forecasts, with special focus on the underlying structure and external forces and relationships that affect industries and their performance. Report contents include:

  • Market size and characteristics
  • Key statistics and ratios
  • Current performance
  • Operating conditions
  • Competitive landscape
  • Major companies
  • Five-year growth forecast

National Retail Federation
"State of Retailing Online" (SORO) studies available from this trade association include:

Marketing and Merchandising
Annual study addresses e-retailer marketing and merchandising priorities, with topics covered in the report including fastest growing marketing activities, mobile marketing initiatives that provide a direct return on investment, areas of personalization that are the most difficult to implement, social media networks with the highest effective conversion rates, and most significant merchandising priorities.

Key Metrics, Business Objectives, and Mobile
Annual study provides an overview of metrics for the current year as well as e-retailers' key priorities for the year ahead, with topics covered in the study including sales trends, key benchmarks such as site conversion, cart abandonment, average order, and costs per order, top e-retailer initiatives and priorities, and planned investment in enhanced features and functions for smartphones and tablets.

Additional Benchmarks for Members Only
Members-only slide deck provides a more in-depth look at the data behind these SORO studies, with measures provided by type of retailer, online business volume, and number of years online including conversion rates, average order amount, recurring customer rate, returned merchandise costs, and investments in offerings, features, and functions for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

First Research
Internet and Mail Order Retail
Internet Auctions

First Research profiles provide analysis, statistics, and forecasts for a wide range of industries, with content sections including industry overview, recent developments, issues and challenges, business trends and opportunities, leading companies, executive insights, financial benchmarking information, and 5-year revenue growth forecast. Profiles are updated monthly; sample report is available online.

Vertical Web Media
Information resources available from this organization include:

Internet Retailer® Magazine
Monthly trade journal features news and information for the e-commerce and online retail industries, with topics covered including market trends, technology, competitive practices, and people shaping the industry and special features including "The Future of Online Retail Technology" (January issue), "Technology Innovations in E-Retailing" (July issue), and "Hot 100 Special Issue" (December issue).

Charts + Data
Charts and data section features the latest trends and charts for eight e-commerce categories based on statistical information from a variety of sources including Internet Retailer's original research, with e-commerce categories covered in this section including online sales, mobile commerce, e-retailers, Internet, technology, marketing, consumers, and B2B e-commerce. All data is available free online.

Research Reports
Research report categories include ranking reports that rank and profile leaders by region or market segment, technology research reports that provide in-depth analysis on key technology topics in the e-commerce world, merchant category reports that take an in-depth look at product categories, and financial research reports that address e-retailer trends from a financial and investment perspective.
Online database provides financial, operating, and competitive information on the global e-commerce market, with data provided including annual sales, rankings, and other measures for the top retail web businesses by geographic market (e.g., U.S. Top 500 & Second 500, Europe 500, Latin America 500, Asia 500, and China 500) and specialty e-commerce market (e.g., Social Media 500 and Mobile 500).

Financial Ratios and Benchmarking Data

Industry Financial Ratios
Electronic Shopping  Search for "454111"

Five-year financial statement analysis includes income statements, balance sheets, and key financial ratios, with data available by sales size range on a national, state, and metro area level.

  • Income and expense detail in dollars and percentages
  • Balance sheets in dollars and percentages
  • Cash flow analysis
  • Liquidity and working capital ratios
  • Profitability and return on investment ratios
  • Asset turnover and efficiency ratios
  • Capital structure and debt service ratios

RMA Annual Statement Studies
Electronic Shopping  Search for "454111"

Annual financial statement analysis provides income statements, balance sheets, and key financial ratios for companies that sell merchandise of all types online, with major product categories sold by these merchants including health and beauty products, apparel and accessories, jewelry, footwear, consumer electronics, home furnishings, food and beverages, sporting goods, and office supplies.

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Compensation and Salary Surveys

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Electronic Shopping

Annual employment and wage survey provides hourly and annual wage data for persons employed in this retail sector that includes merchants that sell products such as apparel and accessories, jewelry, footwear, consumer electronics, appliances, furniture, home furnishings, health and beauty aids, food and beverages, sporting goods, and office equipment and supplies via an online store or auction site.

Online Store

Free online service provides salary, bonus, and hourly wage data for job positions in this retail sector such as software engineer, operations manager, marketing manager, graphic designer, warehouse manager, and warehouse worker, with employers for which data is provided including, Inc.,, Inc.,, Inc., eBay, Inc., Groupon, Inc., Wayfair, LLC, and Zulily, LLC.

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Business Valuation Resources

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