Walmart set to become a bigger online retailer than Apple


Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
But that's not because Apple's not making major bank!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Walmart will overtake Apple to become the third largest e-commerce retailer in the United States over the holiday season, analysts at eMarketer predict.

According to the firm, Amazon will remain in dominant position as the number one retailer, accounting for a massive 48 percent of online retail spending. Amazon is followed by eBay, with a projected 7.2 percent of the market, followed by Walmart, and then Apple.

Compared to last year’s numbers, Amazon stands to gain ground, rising from its previous 43.1 percent. In 2018, the online giant stands to rake in more than $252.10 billion. eBay, meanwhile, is down slightly from 7.6 percent to 7.2 percent. Walmart is up from 3.3 percent to 4 percent.

eMarketer’s look at the top e-retailers.
Photo: eMarketer

Down in theory, not in practice

Even Apple, despite dropping a place in the list, actually looks like it will slightly improve its sales — representing 3.8 percent of sales last year to 3.9 percent this year. It’s also incredibly impressive given that Apple is the only company in the top five retailers to primarily sell its own products, rather than being a vendor for other people’s goods. (Apple does sell some third-party devices, but most of its sales are its own devices.)

Its fall in ranking is therefore less about Apple’s failure than Walmart’s success.

“Walmart’s ecommerce business has been firing on all cylinders lately,” said eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman. “The retail giant continues to make smart acquisitions to extend its e-commerce portfolio and attract younger and more affluent shoppers. But more than anything, Walmart has caught its stride with a fast-growing online grocery business, which is helped in large part by the massive consumer adoption of click-and-collect.”

In total, the combined U.S. online retail market will grow an estimated 16 percent by the end of the year. This adds up to about $525.69 billion, or 9.8 percent of the total U.S. retail sales.

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Source: eMarketer