Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Holiday Traffic - Amazon and eBay Neck and Neck

I wasn't going to write about this today because everybody else is doing it and I'm not sure I can add anything to the conversation, but it was either this or talk about the fact that eBay's share price may close at a 52-week low today, so I chose to write about Dec. Unique Visitor numbers.

It all started when Brad Stone of the New York Times wrote a blog post yesterday about how Amazon had edged out eBay as the most visited ecommerce site in Dec. This is big news, because Amazon had never beaten eBay in this metric before.

"... the latest audience figures from Nielsen Online confirm that the e-commerce traffic crown has changed heads. For the month of December, for the first time, more Americans clicked over to Amazon.com (59,624,000) than eBay (59,374,000).

Despite the slim margin between the two companies, eBay’s visitor count is particularly alarming. According to the Nielsen data, the number of visitors to eBay.com dropped 10 percent from December 2006 to December 2007.

Nielsen has not publicly distributed its December traffic data yet, but supplied the numbers to The New York Times upon request."

They may not have published the Dec numbers yet but they did for Nov., so let's compare Qtr over Qtr.

November - Unique Visitors (millions) Data from Internet Retailer
eBay - 59.04 dropped 8% Y/Y
Amazon - 53.63 grew 10% Y/Y

December - Unique Visitors (millions)
eBay - 59.37 - dropped 10% Y/Y
Amazon - 59.62 grew 18% Y/Y

eBay added 330,000 unique visitors from November to Dec while Amazon added nearly 6 million.

No matter how you spin this, Amazon passing eBay in unique visitors is a big deal. Especially when you see the growth month over month.

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