RealTime IT News

Dog Days Take Their Toll on E-Commerce

Online retail activity slowed in August, but Amazon.com continued to lead all Internet retailers with an estimated 1.6 million buyers, down from 1.8 million buyers in July, according to a newly released industry report.

The figures from PC Data Online show that Ticketmaster.com maintained the No. 2 position with an estimated 595,000 buyers, and buy.com had the No. 3 position in the rankings with 466,000 buyers. CDnow.com claimed the No. 4 slot with 441,000 buyers. Sears.com was fifth.

"Online retail activity lagged in August, as the last days of summer took consumers away from their PCs," said Cameron Meierhoefer, Internet analyst for PC Data Online. "But even with a slight drop in buyers from July, the level of buying activity at top sites doubled over August of last year. If this trend holds, leading Web retailers will have something to smile about going into the Holiday season."

J.Crew posted the largest gain in August and jumped to the No. 18 spot from No. 47 in July with 128,000 projected buyers.

The data is gathered through a proprietary software tool that tracks "unique visitors" and "unique buyers" on each Web site, according to PC Data Online. Each visitor or buyer is counted once, regardless of how many times the individual visits a site or buys from a site. This sample includes over 120,000 home Internet users. Total home Internet users are estimated at approximately 81 million.

PC Data Online defines Internet retail sites as sites at which visitors can actually purchase products. It does not include domains that provide free downloads, product reviews or purchasing incentives, such as coupons, nor other types of e-commerce sites, such as auction, travel reservation or financial service sites.

Sixth through 10th spots were held by barnesandnoble.com, jcpenney.com, real.com, drugstore.com and pets.com.