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Digital Investments Pay Off for Walmart in Ecommerce Race

Walmart, which overtook Apple last year to become the third-largest US etailer, is continuing to widen the gap. Walmart’s ecommerce sales will grow nearly 33% this year to $27.81 billion.

This year, the big-box retailer will capture a 4.6% share of the US ecommerce market and a 0.5% share of the total retail market, behind Amazon and eBay.

A strong holiday season helped fuel ecommerce sales for Walmart. It took advantage of its expansive store footprint to drive click-and-collect purchases, with a reported 131.9 million online visitors.

“Walmart’s ecommerce business is riding a wave of momentum from its strong holiday season,” said Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at eMarketer. “Walmart is now exhibiting a digital prowess that it just didn’t possess a couple of years ago, thanks to a redesigned website and several direct-to-consumer [D2C] retailer acquisitions. It has also invested heavily in its distribution infrastructure, which should help the company extend its market share gains.”

Meanwhile, we are lowering our outlook for Apple’s ecommerce business, following a disappointing Q4 earnings report. This year, Apple’s ecommerce sales will grow by 15.1% to reach $22.93 billion. That gives it a 3.8% share of the US ecommerce market, unchanged since 2017.

Amazon will retain its dominance of the US ecommerce market, commanding 47.0% of sales this year. Its ecommerce business will grow 20.4% to reach $282.52 billion. And the company now commands 5.1% of the total US retail market.

“Even though Amazon’s growth rate is slowing as the platform matures, it is still in the double digits,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu. “In fact, Amazon’s growth still outpaces that of the ecommerce sector as a whole. Amazon will continue to look into areas of high growth potential, such as grocery and pharma, in addition to focusing on other segments of its business, like advertising and subscription revenues.”