walmart

Researchers at eMarketer are tallying estimates for e-commerce sales, which is poised to grow 16 percent this year, and found that Walmart Stores Inc. will overtake Apple to be the third largest retailer in U.S. e-commerce sales.

The findings were a result of eMarketer’s online sales share projections for Walmart, which includes walmart.com as well as Jet.com and the Sam’s Club web site. The marketing research firm said U.S. e-commerce sales will climb to $525.69 billion — comprising 9.8 percent of total U.S. retail sales in 2018.

The findings showed that Walmart, at $20.91 billion, will garner 4 percent of all online retail sales in the U.S. This is a revised estimate from earlier this year of 3.7 percent market share. But the mega-retailer has a long way to go to catch up to Amazon, which is pegged to secure 48 percent total online market share this year with U.S. online sales of $252.1 billion.

Still, eMarketer noted that Walmart’s online efforts is a rapid growth story. “Walmart has one of the fastest-growing e-commerce businesses,” authors of the report said. “This year, its online sales will grow 39.4 percent. Wayfair, an online-only retailer, beats it slightly with a 40.1 percent growth rate. Meanwhile, Apple will grow just over 18 percent this year — less than last year — as domestic sales for smartphones and other consumer electronic devices begin to slow down. Its e-commerce share will remain virtually unchanged at 3.9 percent this year.”

Second on the list of top online sellers is eBay with 7.2 percent. Home Depot comes in behind Apple with 1.6 percent online market share.

Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst, said Walmart’s e-commerce business “has been firing on all cylinders lately. The retail giant continues to make smart acquisitions to extend its e-commerce portfolio and attract younger and more affluent shoppers. But more than anything, Walmart has caught its stride with a fast-growing online grocery business, which is helped in large part by the massive consumer adoption of click-and-collect.”

Regarding Amazon, Lipsman said the online juggernaut “remains the king of e-commerce and is in no danger of losing its crown anytime soon. But online competition from brick-and-mortar retailers is heating up and Amazon has felt more of a need to respond to maintain its leadership.”

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