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eMarketer: Walmart Overtakes Apple In E-Commerce Rankings

According to eMarketer, Walmart will overtake Apple to become the third largest e-commerce retailer in the U.S. by the end of the year, with online sales growth outpacing even Amazon.com gains.

As part of its latest retail forecast, eMarketer increased share projections for Walmart. Now, it expects the overall company’s e-commerce business, including Sam’s Club and Jet.com, to capture 4% of U.S. online retail spending and reach $20.91 billion in sales. In its July forecast, eMarketer anticipated that Walmart would capture a 3.7% e-commerce share this year.

Walmart has one of the fastest growing e-commerce operations among major retailers. In 2019, eMarketer stated that it expects Walmart’s online sales to grow 39.4%. In comparison, eMarketer forecasts Wayfair sales to grow by 40.1%, only just exceeding Walmart. Apple e-commerce revenues should gain a bit more than 18% this year as domestic sales for smart phones and other consumer electronic devices begin to slow. Apple’s 2018 e-commerce share should remain virtually unchanged at 3.9%, eMarketer maintained.

Despite its online gains, Walmart still trails far behind Amazon.com as an e-commerce retailer. Walmart’s proportional online sales growth forecast exceeds that for Amazon, which stands as a gain of just over 29% in the U.S. Still, eMarketer anticipates 2018 U.S. Amazon sales to reach $252.1 billion, which translates into a 48% share of the e-commerce market in the U.S. versus 43.1% for 2017.

“Walmart’s e-commerce 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.”

For 2018, eMarketer asserted, the top five U.S. e-commerce operators will be:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Walmart
  • Apple
  • The Home Depot