Investors are already worried about the performance of eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) namesake site during tonight's quarterly earnings report, so why not throw a little more dirt on the grave?

Web-traffic tracker posted visitor tallies for the telltale seasonal month of December yesterday, and the news isn't good for claims that eBay attracted roughly 80 million visitors last month, flat with last year's performance.

The same can't be said for other companies angling for the holiday dollar:

  •'s (NASDAQ:AMZN) visitor count surged 20% last month.
  • Target (NYSE:TGT) saw a 16% spike at its namesake site.
  • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) greeted 15% more potential shoppers to

That's just half of the story. Not all unique visitors are alike. Some come by more often, and this is where Amazon is truly shining over its retailing rivals. The average visitor made 4.5 visits to the site last month. The same can't be said for the dot-com stickiness of traditional retailers.


Visits per Person




Best Buy (NYSE:BBY)


Macys (NYSE:M)


J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP)



Why does Amazon rock? The most logical answer is the success of Amazon Prime, where members pay $79 a year for free two-day shipping on any Amazon-stocked item. It's like virtual flypaper when it comes to stickiness, since shoppers try to maximize their memberships by turning to Amazon first when they need to buy something.

Will the bricks-and-mortar chains get it? Will they follow suit? The non-Amazon retailers are drawing respectable traffic growth, but Amazon is gaining in both traffic share and even more in session share.

Can the rest of the online space afford to let Amazon have all the fun? Time is running out, and Amazon keeps pulling further and further ahead.

If "buy it now" doesn't work, how about "read it now" for these recent headlines:

Wal-Mart Stores, eBay, and Best Buy are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. eBay, Best Buy, and are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user with 177 positive feedbacks to show for it. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.