When you think of ecommerce in the United States, brands such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay likely come to mind. These are, of course, the mega-brands that have not only made it big on the motherland but have gone on to enjoy international success — known to consumers even in countries where these brands are not (yet) accessible.
Considering the widespread success of many American e-commerce brands, it’s unsurprising to learn that the US is a notable leader in the global e-commerce sector. This is largely thanks to the early adoption of e-commerce as a means for brands and merchants to sell their products to the giant, geographically spread out US population.
This early adoption enabled consumers to gradually warm to the idea of online shopping, eventually becoming advocates and hungry online consumers, still long before many other countries had begun to make a move in this direction.
When considering this massive headstart, it’s no wonder that Amazon, launched by Jeff Bezos in 1994, is the international leader ranking in the top 3 of most country’s top e-commerce sites. Amazon was the pioneer, one of the very first to sell online, and everyone has been following in their footsteps ever since.
USA eCommerce Statistics
The giant population mentioned earlier amounts to 327.9 million — 312 million of whom use the internet, and 209.6 million of whom shop online, according to figures published from Statista in 2016.
In 2018 sales from e-commerce reached a whopping $517.36 billion, and retail e-commerce alone is predicted to surpass $740 billion by 2023.
As of 2018, online retail made up 14.3 percent of the total retail sales in the US, up from 11.6 percent in 2016. This makes the US the third most advanced e-commerce market in the world, bested by the UK and Germany, which each enjoying a higher percentage of total retail sales.
Top 10 American E-Commerce Sites
Delving into the online analytics platform, SimilarWeb, we have rounded up the top 10 highest performing e-commerce sites in the United States, as of January 2020.
The list is comprised of obvious contenders, Amazon, eBay, and Walmart but is well rounded with a mix of brands spanning categories from homemade goods, to electronics, apparel, and home and garden.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 2.73 billion
Amazon is not only an American e-commerce leader, but it’s also the leading e-commerce site in most countries. Founded in 1994 as a humble e-commerce site selling books, Amazon has gone on to reach superstardom dominating the majority of e-commerce categories, including computers and electronics, books and literature, and even TV and movie streaming.
Amazon shoppers in the US enjoy the full variety of Amazon products making up the world’s largest portal to books, music, electronics, apparel and accessories, tools and hardware, sporting goods, and pretty much everything else one can dream of. Not to mention, US shoppers can get these products with free one-day or two-day delivery with the Amazon Prime service.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 855.82 million
Founded in 1998, eBay is another e-commerce pioneer that’s had a significant headstart in the global race to e-commerce dominance. Staying true to their original purpose, eBay has been the leading online marketplace for more than 20 years, the first of its kind and the largest in the world, offering consumers an online platform to buy and sell just about anything they can think of.
Today eBay dominates categories including electronics, cars, clothes, collectibles, and more, through auctions, direct from brands, or through verified sellers, with free shipping on many items.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 468.96 million
Walmart has been a household name in the US since the 60s, establishing itself as a low-price point mega-warehouse, which has since turned into the world’s largest retail corporation, with stores in 50 states and a significant e-commerce presence in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Walmart’s online shoppers have access to an array of products in categories including electronics, baby products, fashion, pharmacy, and auto-parts, making it an attractive platform for customers across a wide range of profiles. Walmart in the US even offers a Walmart branded credit card for customers to save even more on their purchases.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 342.56 million
Founded in 1995, Craigslist is the largest classifieds in the world, despite only servicing the US. On Craigslist, users can browse a variety of sections, including jobs, housing, items for sales, items wanted, services for sale, services wanted, gigs, resumes, and discussions, where they can either look to buy or sell.
With an extremely broad range of items and services posted, Craigslist holds an interesting mix of leading categories, ranging from the expected with news and media, and electronics and technology, to the questionable including adult services, and credit lending.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 258.34 million
Target is the second-largest department store in the US after Walmart. It operates more than 1800 stores throughout the country and boasts an extensive e-commerce solution giving customers access to the full range of target products and services online as well as in-store.
Target is a consumer goods retailer selling products from fashion items to home decoration, furniture, groceries, electronics, hygiene products and much more, with a leading position in the fashion and apparel, and home and garden categories. With the Target RedCard, they are now also a major player in banking and finance.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 266.31 million
Etsy is a US-born marketplace with a niche focus on the sale of handmade or vintage products and unique factory-manufactured items. Etsy’s e-commerce site enables people and companies to sell a wide range of goods, from art to clothing and accessories, food, bath and beauty products, as well as toys and a wealth of other unique items.
Founded in 2006, Etsy is the 19th largest marketplace in the world, a significant accomplishment considering its niche specialization. Of the categories that users seek on the platform, fashion is the largest.
7. Best Buy
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 192.70 million
Another US retailer with a long history spanning back to the 60s is Best Buy. Beginning as a consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy has grown to be a dominant brand with bricks and mortar stores across the country, as well as in Canada and Mexico.
Today, Best Buy offers customers a wide range of products, including electronics, appliances, furniture, fitness, travel, baby products, and more. Despite the wide variety, they are best known as a consumer electronics company, and they rank number 3 in the world in the computer electronics and technology e-commerce category.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 165.29 million
Launched in the 90s, Macy’s is a US fashion powerhouse that started as a brick and mortar retailer and soon grew to become a global brand with locations in various countries and an e-commerce site ranking number one worldwide in the fashion and apparel category.
Macy’s e-commerce site boasts a vast line of accessories, shoes, beauty products, cosmetics, womenswear, menswear, children’s clothes, as well as home and decoration products. They have also launched their very own credit card, seeing the online retailer enter into the finance sector.
9. Home Depot
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 147.15 million
Home Depot is the largest home improvement supplies retailer in the US, boasting stores across the entire country, as well as abroad in Canada and Mexico, with an e-commerce store in all regions. This makes it the second-largest home and garden e-commerce site in the world.
Offering products from new appliances, bathroom and kitchen remodeling items, patio furniture, power tools, bbq grills, carpeting, lumber, concrete, lighting, ceiling fans, construction products, and associated services, Home Depot is the go-to site for home improvement supplies in the US.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 111.62 million
Wish makes for an interesting addition to the list as, unlike many other brands featured, it is primarily a mobile marketplace where small businesses and manufacturers can sell goods directly to consumers using the Wish platform. The Wish marketplace operates in four main categories, which are electronics, family, beauty, and home decoration.
Founded in 2010, Wish has had a meteoric rise to the top, leading in categories including computer electronics and technology, adult items, and video games, consoles, and accessories.