The Top 10 Most Popular Online Retailers on Facebook

Image credit: Sean MacEntee

Have you ever been to an rival online retailers’ website and and wondered how they got so many likes on Facebook? Have you ever wondered which online store owns the most popular Facebook page? Have you ever wondered why your high school crush never liked your Facebook cover photo back?

Well, the geeks here at ReferralCandy actually went to some lengths to find out, and then got me to write about it. First, we collated all the websites on Alexa that were online retailers (we took out those companies that had physical stores, so Victoria’s Secret sadly doesn’t count). Then, we crawled their webpages to find out where their Facebook pages were, and how many likes were on each Facebook page. Finally, we picked out the top 10, and checked out their pages in detail to see how the heck they got a million likes or more (and we did all this while delivering a smoother refer-a-friend web-app for your online store).

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How Many Online Stores are there in the U.S.?



Here at ReferralCandy we got to wondering how many ecommerce retailers there are in the USA and how much they make. Asking Google brought us some possible answers, but not how they were derived and why they might be the right ones. So we decided to look for numbers we could crunch ourselves to get a good guesstimate.

So where to begin? We found this June 2012 article about the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide which had this nugget:

Overall, the Top 500 retailers have a 77% share of the $198 billion U.S. e-retailing market.

The Top 500 Guide also happens to list each retailer’s yearly sales revenue. We plotted a graph of those 500 retailers and their revenues to see if there was anything useful we could find. This is what we got:

Nice. That graph sure looked like it followed a power law. Could we figure out what the power law function was? After removing the top 10 retailers (since they were noisy) and asking Excel for a little help, we found a function with a pretty good fit:


We were getting close. Assuming that the power law held for retailers past the top 500, we now had a way of getting the rank of any online store. Say we wanted the rank of someone running a side business making $12,000 a year. With a bit of math, we would be able to get the magic number of… 90,501. Plugging in a few more numbers would give us the following table:

Yearly sales of at least Number of retailers
$12,000 90,501
$25,000 54,686
$50,000 33,983
$100,000 21,118

Our power law formula also gave us a way of estimating the combined revenue of all the retailers making less than $1,000 a month (spoiler: around $1 billion). So if we only considered online stores making more than $12,000 in sales a year, that comes up to about 90,500 retailers with a combined revenue of $197 billion in the U.S. That’s more than the population of the Seychelles!

So there we have it. Stay tuned for more number-crunching adventures in future posts.

Image Credit: bfishadow

SOPA: What you can do about it

SOPA. You might not have heard of it yet, but it’s a clear and present danger to the Internet that we love and have built our businesses on.

If you’re not sure what all the fuss is about, check out this video [via BoingBoing]

To show our support for the anti-SOPA movement, we’ve moved all our domains off GoDaddy, who helped to draft SOPA. (If you were wondering, we’ve decided to switch to the quite excellent

But that’s not all. We also want to show our support for the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) efforts against SOPA. They’ve done tremendous work in bringing this issue to light and we’d like to help out. So till January 24th, if you sign up for a ReferralCandy account using the link below, we’ll donate 60% of your first month’s bill to the EFF. You’ll also get store credit for the remaining 40% for showing your support.

To take part, simply sign up using this link:

Some other companies involved in the cause are Zopim and UserVoice. You should go check them out.

If you’d like to get even more involved, it’s not too late. Here are some other things you can do:

It’s time to act. Protect the ideals that the Internet was founded on and urge everyone you know to do the same.

India E-commerce Overview [Infographic]

Given that the e-commerce market in India has been getting a lot of attention from VCs, we wanted to see what the hype was all about. Here’s what we found. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »