In the past couple of decades the world has gone through so many changes, although perhaps one of the things that has changed our lives the most is the convenience that e-commerce platforms bring us, so we were curious to find out which are the largest online retailers in the world in 2017.
Online shopping has become a way of life – it’s easy, it’s fast, and everything you buy gets delivered to your doorstep with minimum effort from your part. Sure, there are downsides since there are plenty of situations when people didn’t get what they thought they were actually buying, or they got the wrong shirt size. Thankfully, there’s such a thing as a return policy in place in most online shops.
The ecommerce market just keeps on growing. In 2016, for instance, 53% of global Internet users have made an online purchase – that’s over 1.5 billion people. The ecommerce market in China alone reached $1 trillion, while the US market is closing in on $400 billion per year. The UK, Japan, and Germany follow up next, all with sales of over $100 billion every year, shows the Global eCommerce Sales, Trends and Statistics for 2016 report.
In order to create our list of the largest online retailers in 2017, we went out digging, looking at various reports from Statista, Fun Global Retail Tech, and WWD. Perhaps not very surprising, many of the names that ended up on our list are also present on the list of the top 100 global retailers, which is pretty much because any major business that respects itself has figured out that if they want to have a better brand presence and to make more money, they also need to move online, not just to keep up the brick-and-mortar stores.
The top retailers in the world in 2017, such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), for instance, are all making significant profits from their online sales. For each company, the percentage the online sales represent in the whole revenue is growing each year.
You can also check out our list of the 10 largest online shopping sites in the world.
We checked out the online sales for these top retailers in 2017 and made a list based on these numbers, ending up with the largest e-commerce companies by revenue. Then, we also went out and checked each company’s market cap because the sale numbers may be important, but so is how the company is performing in general and how much trust investors have in them. We handed out scores for each of them and tallied up the numbers. When we had a tie, we pushed up the company that had bigger online sales.
That being said, here is the list of the 10 largest online retailers in the world.
10. Liberty Interactive QVC Group (NASDAQ:QVCA)
Liberty Interactive QVC Group (NASDAQ:QVCA) is an American media conglomerate that also owns a particularly popular e-commerce company – Zulily, which is one of the largest online retailers in the world in 2017. Zulily’s story starts in 2009, but it only became a part of Liberty Interactive in 2015.
The site sells clothes for kids and adults, toys, and various other home and beauty products. According to data, in 2015, the company’s e-commerce sales reached $5.15 billion, while the company’s market cap is currently at $10.8 billion.
9. Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS)
Next on the list of 10 largest online retailers in the world is Chinese company Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS). Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS) operates the e-commerce website VIP.com, which specializes in online discount sales. The site started out as vipshop.com back in 2008. By 2012, the company had listed on the New York Stock Exchange and a year later it had changed its name to VIP.com. Now, the site has over 52 million customers and handles hundreds of millions of orders each year.
In 2015, VIP.com sold products of some $6 billion, while the company’s market cap currently hits $4.85 billion.
From our entire list of largest online retailers in the world in 2017, Otto is the only one that is not listed on the stock market, being characterized as a family business. Otto Group, based in Germany, has multiple subsidiaries, some more famous than others. For instance, the company owns Bonprix, which is one of the best known fashion sites, as well as Baur, Smatch.com, Shopping24, and more.
Data shows the company sold products worth of $8.2 billion in 2016.
Then we have a British company – Tesco. Fouded nearly a hundred years ago, Tesco has branched out online back in 2000, sensing the booming market that ecommerce has become. For the past decade or so, Tesco has become the only food retailer to make online shopping profitable.
Taking into consideration that Tesco sold produce worth of $6.54 billion in 2015, we’d say they’re doing pretty well. The company’s market cap currently sits at $15.7 billion.
6. Suning Commerce Group
On the sixth spot of our list of the largest online retailers in the world in 2017, we have Suning Commerce Group, one of the largest retailers in China. Based in the Jiangsu Province, Suning doesn’t just sell products online, but also in brick and mortar shops, having over 1,600 stores across China and Japan.
Its e-commerce platform Suning.com is one of the top Chinese companies of the sort, selling home appliances, books, cosmetics, baby care products, general merchandise, and more. In 2015, the company sold products worth some $8.7 billion, which means it’s doing pretty good for itself. Suning Commerce Group’s market cap currently sits at $115.5 billion.
5. Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT)
Here’s a name everyone has heard of – Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT). Founded back in 1962, Wal-Mart now has over 11,600 stores and clubs in 28 countries, working under over 60 names. Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, according to Fortune Global 500 from 2016. In addition, the company is also one of the largest online retailers in the world in 2017.
Although it has only recently joined the e-commerce battle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) is already a great competitor, offering some 35 million products online. In fact, it’s been doing so well that it managed to sell products worth of $14.4 billion last year. Walmart’s market cap now sits at $288.3 billion.
4. JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD)
Formerly known as Jiandong and 360buy, JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD) began its online journey in 2004, selling anything from electronics, computers, and mobile phones. Three years later, the site’s name was changed to 360buy.com, and in 2013 it finally reached JD.com, complete with a new logo and mascot.
Now, the site deliveres its products with the help of drones, autonomous tech, and robots. The company’s sales overshadow most of its competitors, managing to reach $34.2 billion in 2016. JD.Com Inc(ADR) (NASDAQ:JD)’s market cap is calculated at over $56.7 billion, making for a rather impressive growth in the past few years. The company is set to continue making cool deliveries with drones.
3. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)
Next up on our list is one of the largest companies in America, and one of the most famous too – the maker of the iPhone, which is also one of the largest online retailers in the world in 2017, because it sells a lot of its products directly to customers via its website. Founded in 1976, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has grown from making Mac computers, to laptops, to some of the world’s most appreciated smartphones and tablets.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s products are sold in many corners across the world through a wide network of retailers, but they’re also sold straight from the company’s website. In fact, it is estimated that Apple sells less than half its products from its online stores. And yet, in 2016, the company pulled up online sales of $16.8 billion. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the most valuable on our list, with a market cap of nearly $889 billion.
2. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)
Another one of the largest online retailers in the world in 2017 – Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). The company makes its sales online only, but its business is so much more than ecommerce nowadays. Regardless, it’s still an impressive company.
Founded in 1994, the tech giant started out as an online bookstore, before branching out into selling DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs, video games, software, and electronics. Nowadays, it sells anything from baby wipes, to tablet computers and drones. It also has plenty of side services, including one that allows you set up a smart lock and camera system in your apartment in order to get your Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) deliveries straight inside your home. Not to mention the Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and the famous Echo smart speaker featuring Alexa.
In 2016, the company managed to pull sales worth $94.6 billion.Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s market cap right now is $549 billion.
1. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)
Finally, at the top of our list is the Chinese giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA). The company’s history starts in 1999, when Jack Ma started out the website with the idea for it to be a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with buyers from across the oceans. Years later, with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) being one of the ten most valuable companies in the world, it is also the largest online retailer in the world in 2017. The company oversees multiple sites with over 550 million monthly active mobile users.
The sites are doing so well that in 2016 they managed to bring in online sales of $485 billion. That’s nearly as high as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s own market valuation of $488.9 billion.
Among the sites Alibaba operates are Alibaba.com, AliExpress, Taobao, Tmall, and more, not necessarily related to e-commerce, such as Alipay, of the world’s largest online payment platform.
That being said, these have been the 10 largest online retailers in the world in 2017.