Online shopping, by desktop or mobile, is now a firmly entrenched component of modern lifestyles. With barely any time to shop, the convenience of one-click ordering and rapid delivery to the customer's doorstep is pushing the e-commerce and m-commerce markets to new heights.
These markets are also becoming more competitive. Retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart are dominating, but small, niche entrepreneurs are also gaining traction as consumers are looking for more bespoke services and unique products. Meanwhile, technology is evolving rapidly and creating smarter websites, faster shipping, and better customer service.
The Most Popular Online Retailers
Statista.com provides a ranking of the most popular online stores in the United States in 2017, sorted by annual net e-commerce sales. In 2017, market leader Amazon.com generated 54.5 billion U.S. dollars in sales in the United States. Walmart.com was ranked second with a revenue of 14 billion U.S. dollars.
A recent study by the digital market intelligence company Similar Web looked at incoming traffic from U.S. shoppers to general-merchandise e-commerce sites from both desktop and mobile customers rather than sales amounts. The results showed a slightly different ranking for 2018. While the top site for general merchandise was Amazon, eBay was in second place followed by Walmart.
More than half of the traffic to these sites (58 percent) came from mobile, and Walmart.com and Wish.com saw the most mobile traffic at over 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively.
These are the top 10 online retailers, according to data from Similar Web, and judged according to incoming traffic:
Average monthly traffic: 26.1 million
Traffic share: 0.8%
Average monthly traffic: 38.7 million
Traffic share: 1.1%
Average monthly traffic: 40.4 million
Traffic share: 1.2%
Average monthly traffic: 42.1 million
Traffic share: 1.2%
Average monthly traffic: 43.3 million
Traffic share: 1.3%
Average monthly traffic: 117.4 million
Traffic share: 3.4%
Average monthly traffic: 120.4 million
Traffic Share: 3.5%
Average monthly traffic: 339.0 million
Traffic share: 9.8%
Average monthly traffic: 817.6 million
Traffic share: 23.7%
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
Average monthly traffic: 1.87 billion
Traffic share: 54.1%
Source: Data from Similar Web
Online Shopping Trends for 2019
Advances in technology such as the availability of big data and the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning to e-commerce combined with a fiercely competitive market are forcing online retailers to change rapidly in response to customer expectations. Expect to see increased personalization and better customer service in the coming year as well as these growing technology trends.
Facial recognition is being used by companies to customize the shopping experience. Facenote is a technology that uses webcams to recognize customers so that retailers can match their needs with past purchases.
Mobile apps and augmented reality technology are being used by companies to provide images of what products might look like when used by a customer. Clothing, for example, or furniture products in the home. Magnolia Market, for example, uses technology to show how its products might look in a customer's space.
Chatbots will continue to be digital sales assistants and to improve the communication and relationship between brands and customers.
Shopping via social media is expected to increase as Facebook and Instagram have made it easier for users to shop through their social media platforms while retail companies are advertising their products on social platforms.
Automated checkout using Paypal, Amazon Pay, or Apple Pay require users to enter their payment or card information just once. Shopping will require less searching and fewer clicks to complete a purchase, all designed to encourage the consumer to spend more and boost retailer profits.