Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Macy's, Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Google

CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. eCommerce, including Macy's (NYSE: M), Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

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A synopsis of today's Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article can be read at Link: http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/87127/e-commerce-stock-outlook-nov-2012

A July 2012 study by Forrester Research points to the most popular products being sold online. The 10 hottest individual product categories are women's apparel, books, computer hardware, computer software, apparel, toys/video games, video DVDs, health and beauty, consumer electronics and music.

Apparel

is a huge market and although online sales are currently under 10% of total apparel sales, the category already generates the most dollars. Selling tools, such as zoom, color swatching and configurators are helping the process. Even primarily brick-and-mortar outfits like Macy's (NYSE:  M) sees that consumers purchasing through multiple channels (online and offline stores) tend to spend more. This is encouraging traditional retailers to offer an online store to supplement sales. Online sales also show better conversions since searches usually draw consumers with a prior intention to purchase.

The increase in technology purchases over the Internet is driven by not only individual consumers, but also companies and governments. The efficient and timely processing of orders, choice of payment options, subscription-selling and sales under the SaaS model are all facilitators.  

The Association of American Publishers says that ebook sales in the U.S. continue at a steady rate and are likely to touch $1.5 billion this year. What is more encouraging is however the growth U.S. players are seeing in international markets (sales up 333% in 2011). Amazon (Nasdaq:  AMZN) and Apple (Nasdaq:  AAPL) are the primary channels facilitating international expansion, although Barnes & Noble (NYSE:  BKS), other smaller players and local companies in international markets are also playing a part.

Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Youtube remains the forerunner facilitating onlinevideo consumption, with significantly higher unique viewers (UVs) and unique streams. VEVO and AOL Media Network are in second and fourth positions, respectively in both respects.

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