EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3164 - October 01, 2013     4 of 4

eBay and Amazon Hold Ecommerce Lead in Visits and Purchases

By David A. Utter

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The most current Cowen Internet Retail Tracker draws an unsurprising number from its August 2013 data, as the report shows healthy purchasing behavior at Amazon and eBay from the report's respondents.

Fifty-three percent of those respondents bought something on Amazon, while 24 percent made a purchase on eBay. (Cowen's analysts note the Amazon data excludes Zappos and Quidsi sites.) The big names in brick and mortar retail haven't translated their offline acumen into similar online success, with 14 percent of people making a buy at and only 7 percent at Target's website.

The mild surprise comes in the form of the durability of Amazon Prime, an annual paid membership program that provides shoppers with free shipping and other perks. Cowen's analysts wrote that 97 percent of Prime customers stopped by in August 2013, with 83 percent making a purchase.

Amazon Prime shopping behavior showed those customers making purchases in the electronics under $50 category, followed by physical books and eBooks. eBook purchases represent a double benefit for Amazon here, as those don't incur a shipping charge.

Conversion rates for Amazon and eBay show the latter still needing to play catchup to the former. eBay's visits to purchases rate per the report hit 49 percent in August; Amazon's conversion rate was 68 percent. Amazon's rate has been steady from March through August, while eBay's August rate represented a small uptick.

The year 2013 represents what should be increased interest in video games. Both Microsoft and Sony release long-awaited successors to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 respectively. Cowen said its anticipated 30 percent year over year unit sale growth prediction for Amazon appears achievable due to these releases.

About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.

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