28 February 2014
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Out of the total $580 billion global online retail industry estimated as of 2012, the US cornered the largest pie of $187 billion to rank first, claimed Euromonitor International. China and the UK succeeded in securing the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. However, the chart of 20 countries, was dominated by 13 European countries, followed by 4 from Asia Pacific and 3 from Americas.

Here comes the list of top 5 online retailers in the US? Inc.


Online Sales: $48, 080, 000, 000

2011 Growth: + 40.58%

For the sixth year in a row, the company founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as Cadabra that went online in 1995, has secured the title not only in the US, but globally. Amazon holds a separate retail website for almost every country – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, and India are to name a few. And deals in a wide range of products including books (both e-books and conventional), DVDs, VHSs, CDs, video and MP3 downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry

It made headlines frequently, viz., for its legal confrontation with Barnes & Noble and Walmart, for acquiring some great startups such as Kiva, Zappos,, and in 2007 for launching Kindle which transformed the reading habit of youngsters.

2. Staples Inc.


Online Sales: $10, 600, 000, 000

2011 Growth: +3.92%

The first of its kind store, which initially ventured on May 1, 1986 in Brighton, Massachusetts with office stationary materials has extended its supply chain to include a range of technology products from home computing to handheld devices to official desktops and networking equipment. Today it owns around 2000 stores globally in 26 countries. With the advent of the Internet technology, it launched the website in 1998. and are two of its subsidiary online sales channel.



Online Sales: $6,660,000,000

2011 Growth: +27.40%

The company, which hardly needs any introduction, went online with its Apple Store way back in 1997 after acquiring NeXT Computers and bringing back Steve Jobs. In the very first month, it grabbed a whopping business of $12 million. The company terminated most of its retail contracts with the then retailers, except CompUSA. However, there was a change in the dealership strategy, as the latter was required to provision Apple with 15 percent of its store area, to be brandished as Apple Store and administered only by Apple sales representatives. Apple’s offline stores also contributed to the online sales, as they were able to woo customers in the first interaction. Launched in 2003, iTunes Store by 2010 turned into the largest online music store. In Q1 2011 Apple’s iTunes Store revenue alone hit $1.4 billion.



Online Sales:  $4,900,000,000

2011 Growth: +19.66%

The company with a 5-decade retailing legacy across a myriad of consumer products – electronics and office, apparel shoes and jewelry, and grocery to name a few – went live with its online store in 2000. Currently it owns more than 11, 000 retail stores across 27 nations and is extensively focusing on its online operations as it does with its brick and mortar stores.  Let the reader not be under any wrong impression, as the company has a unique banner name in different countries. For instance, the term Walmart is used by its stores in the United States, whilst Walmart de México y Centroamérica in Mexico, Asda in the UK, Seiyu in Japan, and Best Price in India.

5. Dell Inc.


Online Sales: $4,609,728,000

2011 Growth: – 4%

The only company to be listed here with a negative growth, thanks to the decline in the global PC sales. However, Dell is among the few pioneer companies that embraced the ecommerce (in 1994); and it started with a bang with over $1 million a year. Dell offered a flexible shopping experience by allowing buyers to customize their computers via mail orders in pre-internet era. Its online sales operation went so successful in Europe and Asia that by 2000 it reached the pinnacle of global PC sales. It stayed in the pole-position until 2006, when HP reclaimed the throne.


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