WalMart.com: The Quiet Giant in On-Line Retailing?

Google released 2004 Year-End Google Zeitgeist. Most are probably jazzed that Britney beat Paris Hilton in the Popular Query Category. Paris will likely make beating out Britney her top 2005 personal goal. I wish her luck. Personally, I think 2004 revealed way more of Paris than any of us cared to experience.

The Popular Consumer Brand Names list drew my eye:
  1. ebay
  2. walmart
  3. mapquest
  4. amazon
  5. home depot
Two reactions to this list:

First, am I the only one to find it odd that people search Google for ebay and amazon? Am I missing something here?

Second, Walmart.com is the quiet giant in online retailing. CNNMoney reports:
The unit is averaging 8 million visitors a week, up from about 3.5 million visitors at this time last year. It also expects sales to grow faster than the industry average of 25 percent growth over the next three to four years.
Eight million visitors per week is modest compared to amazon.com, Bezos and crew must have WalMart.com's growth firmly in mind as they chart their future strategy. Relative to Amazon.com, WalMart has the distinct advantage of easier returns plus a more extensive distribution infrastructure. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. I predict that 2005 will be the year that Amazon.com begins to feel squeezed by WalMart.com. We'll see.

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