- Amazon's presence now spans 58 countries and reaches the greatest international online population, 1.2 billion people, according to Website Builder Expert (WBE), which used data from Amazon's Alexa Internet.
- Alibaba is a close second in population reached, at around 1.1 billion people, but only operates in 15 countries. EBay landed fifth on the list of the top e-commerce marketplaces, reaching 132.1 million in 13 countries.
- Amazon is the leading e-commerce player in North America, Western Europe and India, but Alibaba and its many online entities — such as Taobao in China, Lazada in Southeast Asia and Tokopedia in Indonesia — rule Asia, WBE reported. Africa and India appear to be the two biggest e-commerce battlegrounds in the future.
At a time when e-commerce is predicted to grow to 13% of global retail sales by 2020, or $3.8 trillion out of the $30 trillion global retail market, marketplaces are surging. In 2017, 40% of all digital commerce sales went through a marketplace model compared to 23% in 2013, according to Euromonitor, and Amazon Marketplace accounted for 87% of that growth.
Forrester Research reported that half of online spending now takes place through marketplaces and that might increase to two-thirds within five years. The big names like Amazon, Alibaba (Tmall), JD.com and eBay are dominating.
As in other aspects of its business, Amazon is so big it is running out of room to grow, the WBE report said. It has targeted South America and Mexico, but MercadoLibre has a "stranglehold" there and will be hard to dislodge. But as big as Amazon's reach is internationally, it's still losing money. The company reported a $3 billion loss in its international business last year, according to its most recent 10K.
Amazon is the leader in India, but Walmart recently acquired one of the largest e-commerce platforms there, Flipkart. Just like in the U.S., Walmart can't be ruled out as a potential online competitor on the global stage. Alibaba has its hands full growing in its existing footprint, but it's hard to avoid noticing that India is immediately adjacent to that footprint. E-commerce is growing faster in India than in any other country across the globe.
Ebay is dominant in Australia, and Norwegian company Schibsted is creating a market for itself in northeastern Europe. In Africa, the top e-commerce retail site is a Japanese automobile and auto parts exporter Be Forward, yet a German-owned internet site Jumia is the "closest thing the continent has to its own Amazon," per the report. This indicates an open opportunity for full-line online merchants. In the Middle East, Amazon acquired a stronghold in buying Souq.com in Dubai last year. More acquisitions of this kind are likely as large e-commerce companies look to enter new markets by buying existing competitors.