Amazon's Online Audience Crushes Walmart's

If anyone wants to understand the advantage Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has over rivals who sell merchandise online, he only has to look at traffic data. Amazon has more than twice the number of visitors to its sites than the No.2 company which is Walmart

According to the new comScore Media Metrix Top 50 U.S. Web Properties for October 2013 measure. Amazon sites are the sixth in terms of monthly unique visitors with 110 million. This puts it only ten million shy of huge portal AOL (NYSE: AOL).

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) finishes 25th with total unique visitors of 39.8 million. No matter how strong Walmart’s online offers are, they cannot reach nearly as many people as Amazon.

Amazon has several other advantages, not the least of which is it Prime service. For $79 a year, the e-commerce company offers:

FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items
No minimum order size
Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video
A Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

For the most part, retail companies have increased what they charge for free shipping, because it so badly hurts their margins. Amazon has found a way to counter that, even if, in reality, it loses money on the process in a way disguised from investors.

Amazon continues to use the Kindle as tremendous advantages. Both the reader and Kindle Fire tablet are considered loss leaders. However, they are portals to services on which Amazon does make money. First and second among those are e-books and the Amazon streaming media service which the company claims has 41,000 TV and movie episodes. The service, as it grows, has become something close to a competitor to NefFlix (NASDAQ: NFLX) which effectively rules the streaming video sector in the U.S.

Walmart is not the only huge online retailer with an online problem. Its primary bricks and mortar competitor Target (NYSE: TGT) only has monthly unique visitors of 25.6 million.