It feels like yesterday when the idea of online shopping struck internet users all around the world. Since that time, the ecommerce industry has blossomed to24 million online stores out of which, only 650,000 stores are generating sales of more than $1000 annually.
If not anything, the statistic reflects how slim are the chances of success if you decide to launch an ecommerce store. While the industry is booming and growing at a fast pace, it accounted for only 11% of total retail sales in 2016.
Out of this 11% sales, there are a few companies who are taking up the major market share. These are the top ecommerce companies that are generating billions of dollars through online sales. This article will take you through the top 10 ecommerce companies in the world.
Rather than showcasing their success stories and revenue, the purpose is to take inspiration from these ecommerce giants. Without much ado, let’s check out the top ecommerce companies of 2020.
Top Ecommerce Companies
- Ali Baba
- Home Depot
Amazon doesn’t need any introduction. In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded the company (the wealthiest man in the world) as a marketplace for books. From this humble beginning, Amazon has now become the highest revenue generating ecommerce company and arguably the world’s largest online conglomerate.
In 2017, Amazon generated $177.9 billion in net sales, and this is not just from selling books. Amazon has now grown into a full-fledged online store with a range of products including electronics, clothing, software, pet supplies, and of course, books.
Amazon employes a whopping 566,000 personnel which is a lot more than Google and it’s direct competitor, eBay. This clearly reflects the size of this online store’s operations.
The company had incorporated a “growth at all cost” strategy which was to focus on top-line growth while letting go bottom line profits. Amazon saw a new level of leadership in its core retail business which escalated the company’s growth and made it one of the top 10 ecommerce companies in the world.
The thing about Amazon is that it didn’t become stationary once it achieved massive growth as an online retail business. The company started to branch out and introduced new services to further improve its business.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the second most profit making business for Amazon after its online store. It provides web hosting servers to website owners.
Amazon is also highly data-driven. The company extracts crucial data and analyzes it deeply to come up with newer, better products and services. According to research by Quartz, Amazon secretly launched 91 brands to sell on its marketplace.
With an annual revenue worth billions of dollars, hundreds and thousands of employees, and a filthy rich owner, Amazon is arguably the world’s largest ecommerce company which is why it leads to this particular list.
When it comes to top ecommerce companies, we simply cannot forget Ali Baba. Founded in 1999, this ecommerce giant originated from China.
Jack Ma started Alibaba to make it the biggest online wholesale marketplace. It not only caters to consumers, but also to retailers. Think of a product and chances are that Alibaba has multiple vendors offering that product in multiple versions. This is true for almost every product under the sun.
With headquarters in San Jose, California, eBay is one of the top ecommerce companies in the world. Founded in 1995, the company was one of the first successful dot-com-bubble survivors that revolutionized online shopping. That is why its logo has a red-blue-green-yellow combination.
The ecommerce platform provides a marketplace for C2C and B2C transactions. People can join and post their products for sale, for other people to see. eBay has a range of product categories which cover almost everything.
Jingdong is a must in any list of the top ecommerce companies. It operates out of Beijing, and given the rapid growth, many top ecommerce stores (including Alibaba) consider it a worthy rival. It started out in 1998, and in 2004 began online trading operations – almost six years later.
Although JD is not that big as compared to Ali Baba’s portfolio, it had more revenue in 2017 than Ali Baba’s ($15B more!). JD also has significantly more employees than Ali Baba. (JD has 137,000 and Ali Baba has around 65,000)
Zappos is an online shoe store that is extremely popular for its customer service. They are one of the top ecommerce companies with the best customer support in the world. The purpose of this company was to “WOW” its customers with exceptional customer service without any conditions.
Tony Hsieh founded Zappos in 1999. After getting no external funds and investments, he ended up investing $500,000 from his own pockets to launch the online store. He had only one objective in mind, to develop an online shoe store with the best customer service.
Previously known as Buy.com, the ecommerce marketplace got rebranded after Rakuten.com bought it. It is one of the top ecommerce companies and the biggest ecommerce website in Japan. It is also known as the “Amazon of Japan”
Let me give you a hint about the size of this huge ecommerce website – 90% of internet users in Japan have registered an account on Rakuten. It hosts 40,000 businesses and has purchased numerous foreign assets, and has converted them into (overseas) Rakuten branches.
Rakuten is also the official sponsor of an NBA franchise, Golden State Warriors and a Spanish Football Club FC Barcelona.
Rakuten is now challenging the biggest streaming service, Netflix, after its purchase of Wauaki.tv, a Spanish streaming service. In 2016, it also bought BitNet, a Bitcoin payment processor.
Rakuten is one of the world’s largest ecommerce company with its global transactions climbing upto 12.9 trillion Yen. It employees more than 10,000 employees and operates in 24 countries.
Home Depot is the largest home improvement retail chain, and one of the top ecommerce companies in the world today. With 2,200 physical stores in three countries, 40,000 employees and around $90 billion in annual revenue, Home Depot is a massive force in the retail industry.
Founded in Atlanta, GA, Home Depot has expanded its operations to Canada where they have more than 200 stores across all the 10 provinces. They have also spread their operations to Mexico where they have more than 100 stores.
To expand into Canada, Home Depot acquired three large entities:
- Aikenhead’s Hardware in 1994
- Apex Supply in 1999
- Hughes Supply in 2006
The interesting fact about Home Depot is that most of its online customers operate on a click and mortar model. That is, these customers order their home improvement products online and collect them from the physical store.
Home Depot deals in product categories including, rugs, bathroom vanities, hardwood flooring, light bulbs, washers and more.
Flipkart is a Singaporean online retail store that operates from Bengaluru, India. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology, founded it in 2007. After working for Amazon, the pair decided to launch their own online store.
Just like Amazon, Flipkart initially focused on being a successful online bookstore. After making its mark in the Indian market as an online bookstore, Flipkart made a number of acquisitions to expand its operations.
Its first major expansion was its DRM-free online music store Flyte. As promising as it sounded, the service failed due to fierce competition in the region.
Fast forward to May 2018, Flipkart got acquired by Walmart after it won the bidding war and bought the Indian ecommerce company for $15 billion. Walmart now owns 81% of the shares in the company.
The company earned $2.8 billion in revenue in 2017 and has 30,000 employees, and is slowly catching up .
If you are into fashion or aspiring to be a fashion designer, then Zalando is the place you need to be. Based in Berlin, Germany, Zalando, one of the top ecommerce companies in the world, focuses on selling fashion apparel throughout the world with a host of brands making their presence felt there.
In addition to just fashion accessories and trends, Zalando also offers gift cards, coupons, vouchers and online sales that help attract millions of users worldwide.
Based in Europe, Otto is not only one of the top ecommerce companies in the world but also rated to be one of the world’s largest ecommerce companies. Not to mention one of the most successful. It is known for its innovation and the ability to constantly reinvent itself with time, keeping in pace with the latest and greatest technological trends in the world.
A trading company selling fashion, sports, electronics, and home equipment, Otto is one of the world’s most visited platforms for buying almost anything you want, through an innovative and easy to use interface presented on its website. The process is simple and just like every other ecommerce company, but Otto takes things a bit further by being seamless.
Otto’s technological background helps it innovate itself and brings customers onto its website for maximum engagement. With its splendid partnership with external brands that are most sought after, Otto is now known as one of one of the top ecommerce companies in the world.
This brings us to the end of our list of top ecommerce companies. You must have noticed that it includes ecommerce stores, brands and ecommerce platforms including Magento. All of these ecommerce companies have a huge influence on the online business landscape, thanks to their ever-expanding and increasing business portfolios.
If I have missed any of the top ecommerce company, feel free to mention in the comments section below.