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Despite the rising number of Internet users and websites, from online stores to blogs, as on any main street, a hard core of Internet sites dominate the landscape. Take shopping in both the UK and the US. Around 30% of all visits go to eBay, far ahead of the next most visited site, which is Amazon. The share of visits is more spread out after that.
Many companies have successfully used their traditional market positions to assert themselves in the online environment, particularly in finance. Examples are Lloyds, HSBC and Barclays banks, which are in the top five positions for UK business and finance sites. Overall, US traditional banking firms, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have been successful in adopting the Internet. However, in shopping, Wal-Mart, which is one of the largest retailers in the real world, has only 1.2% of market share online in the US.Firms that were created on the Internet, such as eBay, Amazon, Kelkoo and Yahoo! Shopping, capture a large share of visits in the shopping and classified ads category. These firms also dominate the top business information sites, with Yahoo! Finance, MSN MoneyCentral, and Netscape White Pages. Also, existing companies have established new brands on the Internet, such as Yell.com, an offspring of the Yellow Pages.
©OECD Observer No 246/247, December 2004 - January 2005