Amazon extends lead over US competitors

July 29, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

Amazon’s financial results have repeatedly blown expectations in the past months. Taking into account all company sales, Amazon passed the US$100 billion quarterly sales mark for the first time in Q4 2020. Generating net sales of US$125.6 billion in total. This corresponds to a year-on-year growth of 44% in the record holiday quarter of the COVID-19-shaped 2020.

2020 was a record year for Amazon

The full year 2020 was in fact a record year for Amazon. E-commerce in general saw an unprecedented surge in demand as a consequence of lockdowns. Like many other online players, Amazon was among the profiteers of the development. When taking a look at the first-party business only, Amazon’s tremendous net sales growth of last year also helped the company secure its pole position in the ranking of the biggest online retailers in the United States. Or even extend the lead over some competitors.

When comparing the total first-party e-commerce net sales amounts of the five leading US e-commerce giants Amazon, Walmart, Apple, Best Buy, and The Home Depot, Jeff Bezos’ “everything store” is not only at the front of the field. It leads by a practically unrivalled margin.

A comparison of the five biggest US e-commerce players by first-party net sales illustrates Amazon’s market dominance. This excludes both pure marketplace players and the marketplace business of the mentioned companies.

Amazon is three times as big as Walmart

Compared to Amazon, all other e-commerce giants do not look very giant-like anymore. With its net sales total from the e-commerce first-party business of US$197.3 billion, Amazon is more than three times as big as second-placed Walmart, Inc. Walmart “only” generated US$64.9 billion from first-party sales in 2020.

Six times the net sales of Apple

However, Walmart is again almost twice as big as Apple, Inc., which follows in rank three with net sales of US$32.8 billion. In other words, Amazon generated more than six times the net sales amount of the number three in the league of the strongest US e-commerce companies by first-party sales.

Lowest ranks generated highest YoY growth

Ranks four and five – Best Buy Co., Inc. and The Home Depot, Inc. – generated similar net sales amounts of US$19.6 billion and US$19.0 billion, respectively. Some of the other players in the top five ranking even beat Amazon’s impressive 40% growth.

In fact, the lowest ranks in the comparison registered the highest year-on-year growth. Best Buy increased their total first-party online net sales by 139% compared to 2019, and The Home Depot was able to raise net sales by 86% year-on-year. Lastly, Apple has the lowest year-on-year growth, with a rate of 25%.

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