Since the 1990s, we’ve been buying and selling online, whether that’s ordering food on a delivery app or selling digital products to consumers worldwide. As simple as it may seem, this process involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work, such as organizing the delivery logistics, setting up an online store, or navigating through online payments. The world’s top ecommerce companies make it possible for buyers and sellers to connect on online marketplaces, stores, apps, and more.

At Business2Community, we’ve analyzed the largest ecommerce brands’ market cap data, revenue, and business models so you can learn about how to emulate their success, no matter the size of your business.

The World’s Biggest Ecommerce Companies

In 2023, over 19% of the annual retail sales worldwide came from ecommerce. The global ecommerce landscape has been growing steadily, set to make up nearly a quarter of retail sales worldwide by 2027. Similarly, in the US, ecommerce is predicted to account for over 20% of all retail sales.

us ecommerce sales

That said, only three out of ten ecommerce companies in the top 10 are from the US. China leads with the highest number, home to many of the world’s largest ecommerce companies. Here is the full list:

1. Amazon – $1.852 Trillion

Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his parents’ garage as an online bookstore. This was in 1994, a few years after the World Wide Web became public. By 1999, Amazon’s market cap passed the $30 billion mark as it opened to the public, receiving notable investments from companies like Barnes & Noble, and started selling CDs, cards, and other goods as well as books.

In 2005, Amazon launched Amazon Prime, an unprecedented membership program offering free two-day shipping. It continued offering more business-to-consumer products, such as the Kindle e-reader, Amazon Prime Video, and Alexa. On the business-to-business front, it has been operating Amazon Web Services since 2006, offering cloud computing solutions to businesses.

Besides being the largest ecommerce company, Amazon is also the largest retail company in the world, having surpassed Walmart in 2015. The company generated $574.8 billion in revenue in 2023 from several business segments. The chart below illustrates its net sales in Q3 2023.

Company Name Amazon
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, United States
Market Cap $1.852 trillion
Founding Date 1994
Employee Count Over 1,500,000

2. Alibaba – $179.75 Billion

China’s largest ecommerce platform, Alibaba, was launched in 1999, aiming to enable small businesses to grow and compete with the bigger ones. In two short years, the company had over 1 million registered users.

In 2003, Alibaba launched Taobao, its consumer-to-consumer platform. Besides Taobao, it also owns businesses in cloud computing, local consumer services, smart logistics, and entertainment.

The company made CNY 868.69 billion (around $126.49 billion) in 2023, with domestic commerce generating over half that revenue. That said, the number of its international buyers increased. In 2023, Alibaba’s international ecommerce segment, Alibaba International Digital Group, reported a growth of 24% year-over-year.

Bar graph showing Alibaba's revenue segments between 2019 and 2023

Alibaba has seen rising regulatory pressure from the Chinese government, causing its stock price to falter in the 2020s. In March 2023, it announced that it would be splitting into 6 main business units, marking the largest structural change in the giant’s history.

Company Name Alibaba
Headquarters Hangzhou, China
Market Cap $179.75 billion
Founding Date 1999
Employee Count Over 200,000

3. Pinduoduo – $159.56 Billion

Founded in 2015 in China, Pinduoduo is a newer company compared to most of its competitors. Designed as a “virtual bazaar”, Pinduoduo aims to make online shopping as interactive as offline shopping.

Instead of a search bar, users get a personalized feed with items from different categories. Once they find a good fit, they are encouraged to form teams with other users, replicating the social element of shopping with friends.

In 2023, Pinduoduo moved its headquarters from China to Ireland. That same year, it generated a revenue of CNY 247.639 billion (around $34.879 billion) from its online selling services, logistics information platform, consumer-to-manufacture services, and agriculture businesses.

Pinduoduo’s international subsidiary, Temu, was the most downloaded shopping app worldwide in 2023, with 28% of its downloads coming from the US. Below are the download shares of the Temu app between February and March 2024 by country.

Chart showing Temu downloads worldwide by country between February and March 2024

Company Name Pinduoduo
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Market Cap $159.56 billion
Founding Date 2015
Employee Count Over 10,000

4. Shopify – $101.08 Billion

Working with all sizes of businesses, Shopify provides easy-to-use tools for different aspects of business, such as setting up an online retail store, accepting payments, and analyzing sales. The company was founded in 2006, when its founders decided to build an online store to sell snowboards.

Since there were no companies offering help for those building ecommerce websites, the founders ended up developing their own tools. Moving forward, they decided to focus on the software and drop snowboards altogether.

Photo of a laptop with the Shopify landing page on

In the 2023 fiscal year, Shopify generated $7.1 billion, with its merchant solutions segment representing $5.2 billion and subscription solutions segment $1.8 billion of the total revenue. With millions of merchants in 175 different countries, some of its notable clients include Netflix, Mattel, Gymshark, and Kylie Cosmetics.

Company Name Shopify
Headquarters Ottawa, Canada
Market Cap $101.08 billion
Founding Date 2006
Employee Count Over 8,000

5. MercadoLibre – $77.94 Billion

MercadoLibre is the largest online platform for commerce and payments in Latin America, serving 18 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. It has over 10 million sellers across the region, selling products that are worth $30 billion each year.

In 2003, four years after its launch, MercadoLibre introduced Mercado Pago, an integrated payment tool to be used in its online marketplace. Over the years, Mercado Pago expanded into online and physical stores and mobile wallets.

MercadoLibre has also built a credit and personal loan company, Mercado Credito, and an online store creation company, Mercado Shops. Combined, the MercadoLibre businesses made $14.473 billion in 2023.

Company Name MercadoLibre
Headquarters Montevideo, Uruguay
Market Cap $77.94 billion
Founding Date 1999
Employee Count Over 50,000

6. Meituan – $72.60 Billion

Established in 2010 in China, Meituan is an online shopping platform offering local consumer products and retail services. It was inspired by the shopping deal and coupon company Groupon.

By 2015, Meituan had reached over 20 million daily users in more than 1,000 Chinese cities. Later that year, the company merged with the review app Dianping to create China’s largest online-to-offline company.

According to Meituan, real-time retail is profitable in China, as people want to have their goods delivered to their homes as quickly as possible. The company’s food delivery business saw a particular increase in 2023, with instant delivery orders rising by 24% compared to the previous year.

Hotel bookings and travel also saw record high numbers, obtaining a year-on-year GTV growth of more than 100%.

Photo of a Meituan deliverer on a motorcycle

In the 2023 fiscal year, Meituan generated CNY 276.7 billion (around $38.3 billion). Its business strategy remained the same: focusing on retail and technology while investing in the Chinese consumer market.

Company Name Meituan
Headquarters Beijing, China
Market Cap $72.60 billion
Founding Date 2010
Employee Count Over 90,000

7. Copart – $55.01 Billion

Specializing in online vehicle auctions, Copart had humble beginnings. It was founded in 1982 in a salvage yard in California by Willis J. Johnson, the son of an American entrepreneur.

In 1996, two years after the launch of the World Wide Web, Copart launched its first website. By 2003, Copart’s auctions went online, making it the first auto auction company with such a business model.

To hold its auctions, Copart uses Virtual Bidding Third Generation (VB3) technology, which it has fine-tuned over the past decades. With VB3, buyers get a personalized dashboard and can access auctions using mobile phones and tablets. Auctions take place daily, with over 10,000 vehicles listed per day.

In the 2023 fiscal year, Copart made $3.9 billion in revenue.

Company Name Copart
Headquarters Dallas, Texas, United States
Market Cap $55.01 billion
Founding Date 1982
Employee Count Over 10,000

8. Jingdong Mall – $42.13 Billion

One of China’s leading business-to-consumer commerce companies, Jingdong Mall, also known as JD.com, was launched in 1998 as an offline electronics store. In 2003, when the SARS epidemic hit China and citizens were afraid to go out, the company’s sales decreased. This pushed Jingdong Mall to promote its services online and focus on ecommerce. By 2005, it became a fully online business, and in 2014, it made history as the first Chinese ecommerce company to be listed on NASDAQ with the symbol JD.

In 2023, Jingdong Mall made CNY 1,084.7 billion (around $152.8 billion), outranking its competitor Alibaba in revenue. While retail is its highest-earning business segment, the company has also been operating in logistics, on-demand delivery, technology, and property sectors.

Company Name Jingdong Mall
Headquarters Beijing, China
Market Cap $42.13 billion
Founding Date 1998
Employee Count Over 400,000

9. Coupang – $31.58 Billion

In 2010, Bom Kim launched Coupang as a daily deals business in Seoul, South Korea. By observing the rapid growth of the ecommerce market, he turned the company into a third-party marketplace similar to eBay.

Although the platform was a success, Kim wanted more: a wow factor that would delight Coupang’s customers. He launched a same-day delivery service called Rocket Delivery, South Korea’s largest online grocery delivery service Rocket Fresh, and food delivery service Coupang Eats.

Although Coupang mainly serves the South Korean market, it considers itself a US company, having moved its headquarters to Seattle in 2022. According to Fortune, this makes Coupang one of two US companies with minimal US business, along with the Texas-based food operator Yum China.

In 2023, Coupang generated $24.38 billion from its businesses in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and India.

Company Name Coupang
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, United States
Market Cap $31.58 billion
Founding Date 2010
Employee Count Over 75,000

10. Sea (Garena) – $30.46 Billion

In 2017, Singapore-based online game company Garena announced it would rebrand as Sea Limited, an abbreviation for Southeast Asia. Now one of the biggest tech companies in Southeast Asia, Sea offers online games through Garena, ecommerce services through Shopee, and digital wallets through Sea Money.

Shopee and Sea Money focus on Southeast Asia while Garena has an international audience as the developer of Free Fire, the most downloaded mobile game worldwide in 2019 and 2020.

Sea made $13.1 billion in 2023, with the ecommerce segment being its highest revenue-generator with $9.0 billion, representing a 23.5% increase year-on-year.

Sea’s ecommerce site Shopee is a key player in various Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. According to McKinsey, these countries show a strong growth potential in the ecommerce space, especially for buying food, beauty, and healthcare products.

Table showing the growth merchandise value CAGR for 2021-2025 in Southeast Asia's ecommerce landscape compared to China

Company Name Sea (Garena)
Headquarters Singapore
Market Cap $30.46 billion
Founding Date 2009
Employee Count Over 60,000

Learning From the Biggest Ecommerce Companies in the World

For the world’s biggest ecommerce companies, customer satisfaction comes first. Amazon’s mission isn’t to be the world’s largest company, it is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. By offering a vast product range, personalized shopping experiences, and fast delivery services, Amazon constantly focuses on its customers. Similarly, Coupang’s business grew when it prioritized making customers happy, so it adopted the mission of creating a world where customers ask, “How did I ever live without Coupang?”

Although ecommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba ship and sell worldwide, this isn’t the only strategy to succeed in the industry. Meituan has a brand value of over $20 billion, as it is one of the major on-demand service providers in China. Coupang outranks its competitors in the South Korean market, holding over 20% of the country’s ecommerce market share.

Ecommerce companies have a history of seizing opportunities. Amazon came around shortly after the World Wide Web. Shopify used to be an online snowboard store, promoted through the founders’ ecommerce software. When they realized the ecommerce industry’s potential, the founders dropped snowboards to focus on ecommerce.

As they did in the past, the world’s leading ecommerce companies continue to innovate in their industries. For example, JD.com has used robots for autonomous delivery in China, and Shopify has developed Sidekick, an AI assistant designed for commerce.

Screenshot of Shopify's AI assistant Sidekick

Just like most other industries, ecommerce innovators often lead the market and grow faster than their competitors.

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