E-Commerce: Walmart Overtaking Apple in 2018

Posted on November 16, 2018

Walmart’s standing in e-commerce is continuing to rise as the corporation shifts more of its focus online. The most recent retail forecast from eMarketer even has Walmart overtaking Apple as the third-largest e-commerce retailer in the United States this year.

eMarketer’s report suggests by the end of the year Walmart will account for 4 percent of all e-commerce retail in the States. That’s slightly better than what the same outlet suggested in its July forecast, a sign Walmart is beginning to exceed expectations in e-commerce retail. It’s also an improvement from the 3.3 percent of sales shares held in 2017. This improvement has Walmart’s online sales set to grow by 39 percent this year. Only Wayfair, which focuses strictly on e-commerce retail, is experiencing a higher percentage of growth in 2018.

Andrew Lipsman, an analyst with eMarketer, credits Walmart’s online growth to smart acquisition efforts in the push to expand its e-commerce portfolio and its fast-growing online grocery option.

Surpassing Apple, which is not projected to improve on its percentage of e-commerce retail sales shares this year, does not appear to be the end of Walmart’s leapfrogging in the near future. eBay is second in the category but is expected to see a dip from 7.6 percent of sales shares in 2017 to 7.2 this year. Walmart is gaining ground fast and is likely to make up the advantage eBay holds before long.

Though overtaking Apple, and potentially eBay, is no accomplishment to scoff at, Walmart still has a very long way to go in the competition for the top spot. Amazon is projected to account for an eye-popping 48 percent of U.S. e-commerce retail shares in 2018. That’s an expected 5 percent increase from last year as the online retail giant continues to build on its dominance in e-commerce.

The latest eMarketer research also shows U.S. e-commerce sales will hit $525 billion in 2018, a growth of 16 percent.