Amazon gets 50 cents of every e-commerce dollar

As the annual shopping orgy known as Prime Day kicks off, new data underscores just how dominant Amazon has become in online shopping.

Nearly half of all e-commerce goes through Amazon, according to research from eMarketer. Some 49.1 percent of online retail sales go through the e-commerce giant, eMarketer found, up from 43.5 percent last year.

The next-largest online retailer, eBay, has just 6.6 percent of online sales.

While Amazon hiked the price of a Prime membership by nearly 20 percent in April, it doesn’t seem to have slowed its popularity with internet users. More than half of users said the price increase had no effect on them, according to another eMarketer study, while nearly a quarter said they were not aware the price had increased. Just 6 percent of users said they cancelled their Prime subscription, while another 9 percent said they plan to cancel.  

That’s another reason Amazon’s stock rose to a record high of 1.1 percent, to $1,841.90 just before the start of its Prime Day promotion, despite technical glitches that barred some users from accessing the site. CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns 16 percent of Amazon’s outstanding shares, into heretofore unparalleled ranks of wealth. Bezos now controls $150.8 billion, the largest fortune since at least 1982, Bloomberg calculated.

That increase has also given a welcome boost to the company’s other shareholders—some of whom, undoubtedly, don’t realize they own Amazon stock. It’s risen 57 percent in 2018, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Amazon alone is responsible for about 19 percent of the total return of the S&P 500 over that time — meaning many Americans who invest in broad-based market funds likely benefit from Amazon’s stratospheric rise.

Also on Monday, thousands of Amazon workers in Germany, Spain and Poland walked off the job during Prime Day to protest better working conditions, Reuters reported. Amazon pays workers in Germany about $14.31 per hour after they’ve worked at the company for two years, per Reuters. Germany is Amazon’s second-largest market, after the U.S.

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