You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a headline these days about the booming online sales this holiday season. Too bad it doesn't necessarily include the small to mid-size e-tailers.
Overall, cyber shopping since the beginning of November has been breaking records left and right. Commscore reports it's up to a record 16.8 billion as of Sunday (December 5th). That's a 12% increase from the same time period a year ago.
"Cyber Monday" topped a billion dollars in just one day. You might want to call the day after that "Cyber Tuesday". It surpassed 900 million in sales. (By the way, most of this shopping is happening during work hours. Bosses, be warned.)
That's all well and good, if you are one of the top online retailers. The top 25 online sellers' market share has, so far, increased from 63.6% to 67.8%. Everyone else is losing market share. It's down to 32.2% from 36.4% last year.
Why is this happening? Simple: the big guys can afford to hook in shoppers with deep discounts and high profile promotions. It's just another sign of the times.
My worry: when the times finally change will the playing field too?
It doesn't seem to be level right now.
Last updated: Dec 6, 2010
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio