Amazon's Competitors: 3 Threats to its e-Commerce Dominance
Amazon recently reported blow-out earnings which saw the e-commerce giant reach a $1 trillion market cap (again), but who are its main competitors?
Feb. 10, 2020

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is one of the most recognizable companies in the world, it has a long-serving founder-CEO who keeps driving the brand to greater heights, and its fulfillment centers are known for speed and efficiency. It controls roughly half of the e-commerce market in the U.S., but it is starting to paint a target on its back as smaller, eager competitors to Amazon look to knock it off its perch.

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Amazon's Competitors

1. Alibaba

It is estimated that Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) currently controls roughly 80% of all online retail sales in China, which itself is the third-largest consumer market on the planet. No mean feat for a company that must compete with the behemoth that is Amazon. 

Going public in 2014, the company's share price has grown more than 270% over the past 5 years in comparison to Amazon's more than 400% in the same period. As well as this, Alibaba has returned 28% over the past 12 months, compared to Amazon's 23%. The company's revenue grew by 144% from 2017 to 2019, up to $56 billion in that period. This is expected to increase by a further 78% to almost $100 billion by 2021. In 2019 alone, BABA's core e-commerce model drew in a record $5.4 billion, up 29% on the year before. 

With investments in more than 160 businesses, Alibaba is diversifying well, and nowhere better than its cloud segment. In its last earnings call it announced cloud growth of 62% compared to Amazon Web Services 35% increase. Alibaba is already the Amazon of China and is branching out internationally.

2. MercadoLibre

MercadoLibre (NASDAQ: MELI) was one of the top e-commerce stocks last year, rising more than 90% in 2019 alone. Often considered the 'Amazon of Latin America', it is the largest e-commerce platform in the region, boasting roughly two-thirds of those with an internet connection in the region as users. 320.6 million to be exact.

Not ready to rest on its laurels, MercadoLibre has begun expanding its fintech arm, MercadoPago, with help from a strategic investment from PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL). Besides this and e-commerce, it has four other segments: logistics solutions, SaaS through Mercado Shops, credit, and advertisements. 

Latin America's e-commerce market is estimated to more than double in value from $101 billion to $210 billion by 2022 as more people are getting online. With home-court advantage, MercadoLibre could keep Amazon at bay as it corners this emerging market, even if it is not much of a competitor to Amazon in other markets right now.

3. Shopify

There isn't a better success story on Wall Street right now than Shopify (NYSE: SHOP). To put it into context: if you had invested $10,000 in Shopify at its IPO, its 2,750% gains would leave you with more than $285,000 today. That's a lot of cheddar!

The Canadian e-commerce platform was already successful when it went public in 2015, but its successive growth has been astonishing. It is up more than 170% in the past year alone, with its stock consistently finding new all-time highs and showing no signs of slowing down. Monthly recurring revenue grew 39% in its last earnings call, while gross merchandising value grew from $28 billion to $40 billion for the last three quarters. 

E-commerce as a whole is becoming the dominant force in retail, making up 11% of all retail sales, up from 4% a decade ago. With that in mind, Shopify's addressable market opportunity could well reach $100 billion or more as the market continues to grow.

Quickfire Round

  • Are Amazon and Google competitors? Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a major player in industries where Amazon competes, such as digital advertising and cloud services, but it doesn't provide the same threat when it comes to e-commerce.
  • Why is Amazon customer service so good? Jeff Bezos has established himself as one of the most customer-focused CEOs on Wall Street. Through fulfillment centers, same-day delivery, and Amazon Prime membership perks, he has managed to elevate the customer experience to another level.
  • Who is bigger Alibaba or Amazon? Amazon is almost twice the size of Alibaba in terms of market cap, with the company being valued at roughly $1 trillion, while its Chinese competitor comes in at around $570 billion.

MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently holds long positions in Amazon, MercadoLibre, and Shopify. Read our full disclosure policy here.

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