Internet & Mail-Order Retail Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 9/9/2019
SIC Codes: 5961
NAICS Codes: 454110
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Internet & Mail-Order Retail Industry Profile

Companies in this industry sell products directly to consumers via the internet, TV, or mail order. Major companies include US-based Amazon, Wayfair, and Qurate Retail Group-owned QVC and HSN, as well as Shop Direct Home Shopping (based in the UK), Otto Group (Germany), Alibaba Group-owned Taobao (China), Walmart-owned Flipkart (India), and Rakuten (Japan).

Globally, annual e-commerce revenue reached $2.3 trillion in 2017, according to eMarketer. Growth is driven in large part by rapidly expanding mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in mobile commerce sales, and the push into new international markets by major brands. The Asia/Pacific region (China in particular) is the world's fastest-growing market for online sales. Much of the growth in the region will come from rural consumers making purchases from mobile phones.

The internet and mail-order retail industry in the US includes about 37,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $460 billion. Over the past five years, the bulk of the industry's revenue has shifted from catalog to internet sales. While most brick-and-mortar retailers have an online presence and many also offer catalog sales, this profile focuses on retailers who use the internet or catalogs as their sole or primary sales channel.


Demand is driven by consumers’ personal income. Profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing to build a customer base. Larger firms enjoy central purchasing efficiencies and ...

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