Amazon captures a third of visits to top retail websites

February 1, 2016 12:28 PM

Evidence keeps accumulating that Inc. pulverized its online competition during the recent holiday season.

The No. 1 online retailer in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500, captured 34.5% of visits to the 500 leading e-retail sites by traffic in November and December, Hitwise, a unit of online marketing firm Connexity, reported today. That was up from 26.2% during November and December 2014.

“In fact, the number of additional visits that Amazon gained in December 2015 versus 2014 was nearly double what second-place Wal-Mart received in the month. So Amazon’s growth was almost two Wal-Marts,” Hitwise said in a statement.

Nonetheless, Hitwise points out, online competitors like, No. 3 in the Top 500, still made gains, because the number of consumers shopping online increased dramatically. U.S. consumers visited the Hitwise top 500 e-retail sites 11.5 billion times in November and December, an increase of 25% from 9.2 billion visits a year earlier.

“Most of the top sites posted a growth in visits year-over-year despite the fact that many actually lost share due to the astronomical growth of Amazon,” Hitwise says. “For instance, Walmart gained 13.8 million additional visits this December versus a year ago while going from a 7% share overall to 6%.”

The Hitwise data also shows that Thanksgiving Day for the first time produced the most visits to the top retail websites, edging out the following day, widely known as Black Friday. The seven days from the day before Thanksgiving Day through the following Tuesday, the day after Cyber Monday, took the top seven spots in terms of daily traffic to top retail websites, Hitwise says, underscoring how important the Thanksgiving weekend has become for e-commerce. The other three days in the top 10 were Mondays in December.

Today’s Hitwise report backs up a slew of other data that suggests Amazon dominated the online holiday shopping season. Amazon reported last week that its fourth quarter North American net sales increased 24.1% over last year. A late 2015 survey found that 44% of consumers start their online shopping trips at, according to online marketing firm BloomReach.

Here are the top 20 retailers in terms of percentage of visits by U.S. consumers to top retail websites in November and December 2015, with the percentage of visits they accounted for, according to Hitwise, and their Top 500 rank in parentheses:

  •, 34.5% (1)
  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 6.03% (3)
  • Target Corp., 3.18% (16)
  • Best Buy Co., 2.78% (14)
  • The Home Depot Inc., 1.69% (10)
  • Kohl’s Corp., 1.69% (22)
  • Macy’s Inc., 1.59% (7)
  •, 1.21%, (17)
  • Fandango, 1.11%, (NA)
  • Lowe’s Cos., 1.09% (36)
  • Sears Holdings Corp., 0.99% (5)
  • JC Penney Co., 0.96% (37)
  • Toys ‘R’ Us Inc., 0.84% (40)
  • GameStop Corp., 0.80% (58)
  • Victoria’s Secret, 0.77% (28)
  • Inc., 0.72% (31)
  • Costco Wholesale Corp., 0.69% (11)
  • QVC Inc., 0.65% (15)
  • Walgreen Co., 0.57% (44)
  • Wayfair LLC, 0.57% (33)

Here are the top 10 online shopping days during November and December 2015 based on total traffic to the Hitwise top 500 retail websites by traffic, with visits in millions, according to Hitwise:

  • Thursday, Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day), 328.7
  • Friday, Nov. 27 (Black Friday), 328.5
  • Monday, Nov. 30 (Cyber Monday), 320.7
  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 223.9
  • Sunday, Nov. 29, 221.7
  • Saturday, Nov. 28, 221.1
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25, 217.7
  • Monday, Dec. 14 (Green Monday), 208.4
  • Monday, Dec. 7, 205.4
  • Monday, Dec. 21, 202.1



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