Digital Transformation

Amazon ranked number one global retailer but and Alibaba are closing in


By Danielle Long | Asia Pacific Correspondent

October 10, 2017 | 4 min read

Amazon, Alibaba and continue to outperform retailers worldwide, with the three e-commerce giants experiencing an average revenue growth rate of 30% in 2016, compared with a 4.3% average growth rate for retailers worldwide.

A report from eMarketer, using data from UK-based OC&C Strategy Consultants, revealed the top ten retailers worldwide ranked by the increase in sales in 2016.

While Amazon is the standout global leader with a significant lead of £23.5bn ($31.7 bn) in revenue growth, Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba and outperformed Amazon in terms of percentage growth.


Amazon is the number one retailer globally but Chinese ecommerce giants are hot on its heels was ranked number two in the global list with £8.0bn ($10.8bn) in revenue growth, however, it reported 41% growth, while Alibaba ranked 10th with £2.9bn (3.9bn) and 33% growth., which is China’s second-largest e-commerce company, experienced a strong year with record sales for its 6.18 shopping festival and a major partnership deal with luxury site Farfetch.

Alibaba has stepped up its expansion plans in a bid to grow the company's presence across Asia Pacific. Alibaba has increased its investment in Singapore-based ecommerce company Lazada as well as investing in Indonesian e-commerce platform Tokopedia, among a host of other moves.

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

Both Chinese e-commerce companies are investing in bricks and mortar retail opportunities to help drive growth within China. Alibaba has increased its Hema supermarkets and commenced building its first mall, while has launched new technology for its offline retail experiences and continues to roll out its branded stores across China.

Meanwhile, Amazon is facing tough competition in the Southeast Asia region after launching Prime Now in Singapore in July.

The report comes as retailers prepare for the major shopping events of Singles Day (11.11), Black Friday and Cyber Monday next month.

Digital Transformation

More from Digital Transformation

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +