RealTime IT News

Happier Days for Some Traditional Retailers

Traditional retailers such as RadioShack and the Sharper Image are making impressive gains in the number of online transactions at their Web sites, according to newly released figures for September e-commerce sales.

And America Online's AOL.com shopping offerings also are moving up, according to the NextCard eCommerce Index for September.

Amazon.com was the top online merchant for the fourth straight month, according to the Index, followed by (in order) AOL (the proprietary service), Priceline gas (ironic, as Priceline's WebHouse unit selling gas and groceries just gave up the ghost), EarthLink and Buy.com.

The rankings are based on the number of online transactions by the approximately 500,000 holders of a NextCard.

"Traditional retailers made a strong showing last month, as evidenced by the 152 percent and 76 percent growth by RadioShack.com and SharperImage.com, respectively," said Lisa Subramanian, vice president for e-commerce at NextCard. "Consumers gravitated online to buy popular Sharper Image products, such as the Razor scooter."

"Aggressive marketing of AOL's shopping service helped it move up eight places in the Index to No. 27," she said. "Consumers may also be frustrated now that e-tailers are eliminating discounts and promotions and raising prices. It's much more convenient to consolidate shopping at one source, such as Shop@AOL."

Sixth on the list was eBay, followed by Priceline groceries, Half.com, Barnes&Noble.com and Ubid.com.

The biggest gainer in transaction volume was the @HomeNetwork, up 424 percent. Biggest loser was OverStock.com, down 79 percent.