There are many ecommerce companies in the world, but only a handful of them are exceptionally successful.
So, what makes the world’s top ecommerce companies stand out from the rest? What are the key factors that contribute to their success? And how can you make your ecommerce company successful?
In this blog post, we will take a look at the top ecommerce companies in the world and try to answer those questions. I’ll also help you analyze if there are any commonalities among them and share tips on how you can apply the same principles to your business.
So without further ado, let's get started.
Why Do Ecommerce Companies Matter?
Ecommerce is on the rise, with more and more people shopping online for everything from groceries to clothing.
One of the benefits of shopping online is that you can often find better deals than you would at brick-and-mortar stores. You can also save time by not having to travel to the store and stand in line.
However, there are some drawbacks to shopping online. For one, it can be difficult to return items if you're not satisfied with them. And two, you may end up spending more money than you would if you were to go to the store in person.
Still, for many people, the pros of online shopping outweigh the cons. And as the popularity of ecommerce continues to grow, we can expect to see even more people shopping online in the future.
The global online retail sales currently amount to 4.9 trillion US dollars and will continue to rise by another 50% by 2025 (see statistics below).
Wondering what has led to this rise in the popularity of ecommerce?
Here are the top reasons behind it:
All of these have made ecommerce companies a big deal and contributed to the overall increase in sales and revenue across markets.
If you want to take your business to the next level, it’s high time to open an online store. Try using any of these popular ecommerce platforms to get started.
The Different Types of Ecommerce Companies
Ecommerce companies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, others are large. Some operate exclusively online, while others have brick-and-mortar locations as well. And some focus on selling physical goods, while others sell digital products or services.
Let's take a look at the major types of ecommerce companies:
The Key Features of the Most Successful Ecommerce Companies
Before we move on to the list of the top ecommerce companies, it’s important to note the key features that make them successful. By understanding these qualities, you can learn from their examples and create a more successful ecommerce business of your own.
The most successful ecommerce companies have a few key things in common:
Third-Party Marketplace Functionality
One of the most important features of successful ecommerce companies is their ability to function as a third-party marketplace. This means that they allow other businesses to sell their products through their platform.
Not only does this create a more diverse selection of products for customers, but it also allows businesses to reach larger audiences. And, of course, it’s a great way to generate more revenue.
Some of the most successful ecommerce companies, like Amazon and eBay, were built primarily as third-party marketplaces. And they continue to be some of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world.
If you want to create a successful ecommerce company, then you need to make sure that you have third-party marketplace functionality.
A Robust Fulfillment System
Another important feature of successful ecommerce companies is a robust fulfillment system. This is the process by which orders are received, processed, and shipped.
A fulfillment system needs to be efficient and reliable in order to avoid any delays or disruptions in the ordering and shipping process. It should also be able to scale as your business grows.
The fulfillment system is a critical part of the ecommerce experience, and it’s something that you need to get right if you want to be successful.
Many successful ecommerce companies have membership programs that offer exclusive benefits to members. These programs often include free shipping, early access to new products, and special discounts.
Customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from companies that offer these kinds of loyalty programs.
Mobile Functionality and Responsiveness
Mobile commerce is up and rising. By 2025, mobile sales will account for 10% of all US retail sales.
That’s why the most successful ecommerce companies have websites that are mobile-friendly and responsive. This ensures that customers can easily purchase products no matter what device they’re using.
Personalized Messaging and Offers
A personalized message goes a long way. When you make an offer, it should be tailored to the individual based on their previous interactions with your company. This could be anything from a first-time buyer discount to free shipping on their next order.
However, there is a fine line between personalization and misusing consumer data.
70% of consumers appreciate personalization but only when brands are using data that they’ve shared directly, and not purchased data from third-party cookies. A majority of consumers are concerned about how brands use their personal data.
This is why it’s so important to be transparent with your audience about how you use their data and to give them the option to opt-in/opt-out of certain features.
A Seamless Customer Journey
The customer journey is the path that a customer takes from initial awareness of a product or service to eventual purchase.
A seamless customer journey is one in which there are no barriers or friction points between the customer and the purchase. In other words, it’s a smooth and enjoyable experience from start to finish.
Here are a few tips on how to:
A Strong Brand
A strong brand is another common feature of top ecommerce companies.
When it comes to a brand, it is much more than a logo or a name. It’s the whole package of what a customer experiences when they interact with your company.
Building a strong brand means being consistent across all customer touchpoints, from the website to customer service to social media.
Also read: ZeBrand Review: Is it the brand-building platform you need?
An Excellent Customer Service Team
Another key ingredient for ecommerce success is an excellent customer service team. This team will be responsible for handling any and all customer inquiries, whether they’re about an order, a product, or something else entirely.
Your customer service team should be friendly, helpful, and responsive in order to create a positive customer experience, and help your business become one of the top ecommerce companies in the world.
Learn how to improve your customer service through my guide here.
The World’s Largest Ecommerce Markets
China is the world's largest ecommerce market, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom. Other large markets include Japan, South Korea, Germany, and France.
China has the world's largest population, and its ecommerce market is growing rapidly. It is estimated to be a $2,779 billion USD market and is expected to reach 1,223 million users by 2025.
The United States is the second-largest market with an estimated market size of $794.5 billion USD in 2020. Led by ecommerce giants such as Amazon and eBay, the US ecommerce market is expected to reach 291.2 million users by 2025.
The United Kingdom (U.K.) is another big ecommerce market with an estimated size of $180.3 billion USD in 2020. It is expected to have 62.1 million users by 2025. Some of the top ecommerce companies contributing to this market share are Amazon.co.uk, Tesco, and Argos.
Other notable markets include Japan (USD 144 billion), South Korea (USD 120 billion), and Germany (USD 101 billion) (refer to the above image by IMH).
What makes these markets the largest in the global ecommerce industry?
There are a few factors that contribute to the success of these markets. First, they have large populations. Second, they are growing rapidly. And third, they have a high disposable income.
This is why these markets are so attractive to ecommerce businesses. They offer a large potential customer base and the opportunity for high sales.
So, if you’re looking to start or grow an ecommerce business, these are the markets you should be targeting. Each one presents a unique opportunity for success.
What are the top ecommerce companies in these markets? Read on to find out.
The World’s Top Ecommerce Companies
Let's take a look at some of the world's top ecommerce companies based on several factors, including:
These companies are not listed in any particular order but they are all leaders in their respective markets.
Amazon is the largest ecommerce company based on a 2021 ecommerce companies revenue report, as shown below:
Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States, Amazon is the world's largest ecommerce company with a market cap of over $1 trillion USD. It is going to hit $2 trillion USD soon.
In 2020 alone, Amazon generated an estimated revenue of $386 billion USD and has a GMV value of $475 billion USD.
Amazon is also the most visited ecommerce site in the world with an average of almost 3.68 billion visitors per month in 2020.
Along with selling various products, Amazon also launched other services to increase its revenue. Amazon Web Services (AWS) – a cloud computing solution, Kindle – an ebook store, and Amazon Prime – a video and music streaming service, are some of these.
Live streaming service, Twitch, was also acquired by Amazon.
Amazon is not just one of the world's largest ecommerce marketplaces but it is also a big competitor in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry.
2. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Headquartered in Hangzhou, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is a Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology.
Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, Alibaba is one of the world's largest online marketplaces, handling more than $109 billion USD (around 717.3 billion yuan) in annual sales for 2021.
Alibaba’s success is due in large part to its focus on the Chinese market. The company has a deep understanding of Chinese consumers and what they want.
The company is also a master at using data to its advantage. It uses big data and artificial intelligence to personalize the shopping experience for each of its customers.
The Alibaba Group operates several businesses, including:
- Taobao Deals
- Tmall Supermarket
- Tmall Global
- Alibaba Health
- Sun Art
eBay is an American ecommerce company that was founded in 1995. It has a market cap of over $24.80 billion and it generated an estimated revenue of $10.2 billion revenue in 2020, a 5.1% increase year on year.
eBay’s GMV (gross merchandise value) also hit $100 billion in 2020 and it sees over 109 million active users each month on its website. Most of its users (60%) are from the United States and the United Kingdom.
eBay uses free shipping as a big incentive to attract buyers with 71% of items bought on this platform being shipped for free. And its ties with PayPal have also contributed to its success.
4. The Home Depot
The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer. What sets this ecommerce marketplace apart from other retailers is its focus on customer service.
The company has a team of in-store experts who can help customers with everything from choosing the right products to completing DIY projects. It also offers free shipping on orders over $45 and has a convenient return policy.
These customer-friendly policies have helped The Home Depot become one of the most successful ecommerce companies in the world.
The company was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. By market value, it is the second-most influential company in the ecommerce industry with over $411.02 billion market value (right next to Amazon's $1649 billion).
In 2021, they also launched “Rent Online, Pick-Up In-Store (RPOIS),” a new service that allows customers to rent tools and equipment from the comfort of their homes.
The Home Depot is an excellent example of an ecommerce company that has found success by focusing on the needs of its customers.
5. JD.com Inc.
JD.com Inc. is one of China's leading ecommerce companies. It was founded in 2004 by Richard Liu Qiangdong, who is also its current CEO. The company has over 227 million active users and it shares 9% of the global ecommerce market.
Its annual revenue for 2021 was $149.32 billion, about a 30% YoY growth from 2020.
JD.com serves hundreds of millions of consumers in China by connecting them to many top-quality products and brands from all around the world.
The company invests in technologies such as smart logistics and supply chains, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, which is one of its top competitive advantages.
Another thing that makes JD.com successful is its focus on customer satisfaction. The company always puts the customer first, and it shows in everything they do.
Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and superstores. The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, and it now operates in over 10,500 stores in the world.
It is the world’s largest retailer that sells products from various categories.
In 2021, Walmart's global revenue hit $559 billion and its online sales boomed significantly by a whopping 97% during the COVID-19 pandemic (Q2 of 2020), making it second only to Amazon.
Walmart sells about 75 million different products, varying from groceries to apparel, home appliances, and electronics, making it one of the most diversified ecommerce platforms.
What makes Walmart so successful?
There are a few key reasons:
With over 11,000 stores in 27 countries, Walmart has a significant physical presence that gives it a competitive advantage over other online-only retailers.
Moreover, Walmart is known for its “everyday low prices” strategy, which it uses to attract customers and keep them coming back.
Another key to Walmart's success is their focus on customer service. The company consistently ranks high in customer satisfaction surveys.
Rakuten is Japan's largest ecommerce company that operates in 29 countries and offers a wide variety of products, including books, electronics, and apparel. Their website receives over 50 million monthly visitors.
In 2020, the Rakuten Group generated a revenue of 1.46 trillion Japanese yen, which is equivalent to $13.67 billion USD.
What sets Rakuten apart from other ecommerce companies is its focus on customer satisfaction and its strong relationships with merchants.
Rakuten is also known for its cash-back program, which gives customers a percentage of their purchase back in the form of Rakuten Points. You get rebates, cash backs, and coupons for every purchase you make from its online portal.
While Rakuten's loyalty program is one of the primary reasons for its success, the company also expanded its portfolio by offering communication, financial technology, and sports management-related services to generate greater revenue.
1. What is the best company for ecommerce?
There is no one answer to this question as the best company for ecommerce depends on individual needs and preferences. However, some of the most popular and successful ecommerce companies include Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba.
Each of these companies has a different focus and offers a unique range of products and services, so it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs.
2. Who are the major players in the ecommerce industry?
There are many small and medium-sized businesses operating in the ecommerce industry. The major players include Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Rakuten.
3. Who is the king of ecommerce?
While there is no definitive answer, Amazon is often referred to as the “king of ecommerce.” This is because it is the largest and most successful ecommerce company in the world.
Amazon has a market capitalization of over $1 trillion and it generated an estimated revenue of $386 billion in 2020.
4. Is Alibaba bigger than Amazon?
No, Alibaba is not bigger than Amazon.
Often called the “Amazon of China,” Alibaba has a market cap of just $333 billion, which is far behind Amazon's market cap (over $1 trillion).
Are You Ready to Boost Your Ecommerce Sales?
If you’re looking to take your ecommerce business to the next level, it’s time to start thinking about how you can cater your services to meet consumers' needs.
After all, the most successful ecommerce companies in the world have one thing in common: they’re all customer-centric.
What does that mean for you?
You need to focus on creating a seamless experience, offering a wide range of products, and providing excellent customer service. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to becoming one of the top ecommerce companies in the world (just like the ones listed in this article).
Do you have questions about how to make your ecommerce business more successful and which trends to follow? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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