Top Ten Online Retailers

1. December 2011

Online retailers are retail stores who do business online i.e. through the Internet. These retailers buy goods in large quantities from manufacturers and importers and sell them to consumers in retail prices. Some of the types of retail stores are as follows:

• Department stores

• Discount stores

• Supermarket

• Warehouse stores

• Variety stores

• Specialty stores

• General store

• Convenience store

• Hypermarket

• Malls

• Category specialist

• E-tailers

E-tailer is more commonly known as “online retailer”. Online retailers are an important part of the business industry. Research has shown that 57% of consumers research products online before making a purchase and there is a 50% increase in online shopping.

Online retailers have many advantages over brick and mortar retail stores. Some of them are listed below:

• Reviews about products

Reviews of various products are included, even those of consumers. All information about the product like make, year, model, specifications are provided.

• A physical retail store is not necessary

Since it involves doing business online, it is not necessary to setup a retail store or stores. A warehouse to store the goods will be sufficient.

• Less workforce

Since online retail store involves doing business online from a website, an online retailer needs lesser staff compared to a physical retail store.

• Costs less

Online retailers only have to bear the cost of running and maintain the website and the warehouse along with a few staffs. This saves them money from extra expenses than are oftentimes passed on to consumers, which explains why physical retail store prices are costlier than online retail stores.

However, on the negative side, consumers are at a risk of fraud. Also, they cannot fully check the product and have to rely on the information and picture provided solely online.

There are thousands of online retail stores in the U.S. alone. We’ll be looking into the top 10 online retailers worldwide along with its headquarters and its total share of the online retail industry as of 2010.


Headquarters: Seattle, United States

Share: 24.3%


Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas, United States

Share: 14%


Headquarters: San Jose, California, United States

Share: 11.2%


Headquarters: Richfield, Minnesota, United States

Share: 5.8%


Headquarters: Plano, Texas, United States

Share: 4.5%


Headquarters: Minneapolis, United States

Share: 4.1%


Headquarters: Menomonee falls, Wisconsin, United States

Share: 3.6%


Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States

Share: 2.8%


Headquarters: Salt Lake City, United States

Share: 2.7%


Headquarters: Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States

Share: 2.5%

Some of the other popular online retailers that didn’t quite make the top 10 are,,, and to name a few.

Did you know?

  • Most online retailers originate or are based in the United States.
  • United States has the most consumers of online retailers.
  • Top online retailers of June 2011, was Amazon with 20% of all online retail visits (over 280 million visits).
  • eBay is considered the world’s largest online marketplace.
  • eBay launched Group Gifts in November 2011 which lets eBay members connect with their Facebook friends so that they can purchase gifts together.
  • 50% of online retailer visits worldwide were to Amazon, eBay and Alibaba as of June 2011.
  • Walmart is the largest provider of movies overtaking Sony and Alibaba.

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