Walmart widens the lead with Apple in the ecommerce race

In its latest U.S. retail forecast, eMarketer expects Walmart to widen the gap with Apple in terms of ecommerce market share.  Meantime, the research group has lowered its growth outlook for Amazon.

Walmart, which overtook Apple last year to become the third largest U.S. e-tailer, is pulling farther ahead of the tech giant, according to eMarketer. Walmart’s ecommerce sales are predicted to grow nearly 33% this year to $27.81 billion.

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This year, the big box retailer will capture a 4.6% share of the U.S. ecommerce market, behind eBay and Amazon. 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 Walmart extend its market share gains.”

Meanwhile, eMarketer is lowering its outlook for Apple’s ecommerce business, following a disappointing fourth quarter earnings report. This year, Apple’s ecommerce sales will grow just over 15% 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 U.S. ecommerce market, commanding 47.0% of sales this year, according to eMarketer. Its ecommerce business will grow 20.4% to reach $282.52 billion. Amazon now commands more than 5% of the total U.S. retail market.

eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness.