Is there any stopping Amazon’s march to online dominance?
The e-commerce giant is set to take nearly half—49.1 %—of all sales happening online in the U.S. by the close of 2018, an increase from the 43.5% share it held last year, according to eMarketer’s Top 10 U.S. Companies, Ranked by Retail E-Commerce Sales Share 2018 list released as Amazon is gearing up for its annual Prime Day bonanza launching 3 p.m. ET on July 16.
The second firm on eMarketer’s list? eBay, which trails distantly with 6.6% share. Despite its aggressive e-commerce investments and acquisitions, Walmart’s 3.7% share earns it the No. 4 spot, while QVC, Macy’s and Costco (1.2% apiece) take the No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9 positions.
eMarketer’s data finds that Amazon will grow its revenue 29.2% from the prior-year period to reach $258.22 billion by the end of 2018, some of which could be the result of the Whole Foods acquisition. What’s more, when looking at both clicks and bricks combined, Amazon now commands 5 percent of all U.S. retail, the firm said.
Of note, apparel and accessories are now Amazon’s second-biggest category, trailing only electronics. Since 2016, sales of clothing and accessories have climbed from $20.09 billion to $28.85 billion last year, and are projected to generate $38.55 billion this year, eMarketer said. That amounts to 15.4% of Amazon’s overall sales, the firm added, and the e-commerce company is seen as taking 38.5% of clothing purchases that occur online in the U.S. Many of Amazon’s private-label apparel brands have taken over their categories, with activewear proving especially popular. Still, some industry watchers think there’s even more runway for Amazon to capture greater share in apparel.
As Amazon mushrooms into a seemingly unstoppable force, much of its sales are generated from its marketplace rather than from customers purchasing directly from the company itself. In fact, eMarketer expects the marketplace to account for 68 percent of sales, more than twice the 32 percent direct sales, by year end.
eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman said the rise of the marketplace “makes sense on a number of levels.”
“More buyers transacting more often on Amazon will naturally attract third-party sellers,” Lipsman explained. “But because third-party transactions are also more profitable, Amazon has every incentive to make the process as seamless as possible for those selling on the platform.”