By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Monday was the start of Amazon’s 36-hour Prime Day, but it wasn’t just Amazon offering deals. Companies from Target to Kohl’s to DSW to Bed, Bath & Beyond were offering sales.

So, where do people shop online?

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Analysts estimate half of Americans live in a Prime household, half of consumers start their searches with Amazon, and the huge online retailer is expected to make up half of all online sales this year.

University of Minnesota marketing professor George John says these numbers aren’t anything consumers should be worried about. According to the U.S. Census, about 10-percent of sales in the U.S. happen online.

“It’s still a small chunk of the economy, but it’s growing very fast,” John said.

In terms of overall sales – both online and in stores – Amazon is fourth among U.S. companies in 2017, with revenue at $178 billion. First is Walmart ($486 billion), followed by Apple ($229 billion) and CVS ($184 billion).

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In the online space, Amazon is expected to control 49 percent of sales by the end of 2018.

According to, one-third of those sales come from things Amazon sells directly and two-thirds come from goods sold in Amazon’s marketplace.

EBay is a distant second in online sales at 6 percent, followed by Apple (4 percent), Walmart (4 percent) and Home Depot (1.5 percent).

John says the test will be if Amazon can make money from selling products. He points out the company doesn’t make much money and what it does make comes from its web services business.

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“I would keep my eye on three things,” John says. “Pharmaceuticals, business-to-business sales and grocery.”

Heather Brown