Top 3 e-commerce sites globally

Here's an overview of the top three most popular e-commerce around the world
An undated image of an e-commerce site. — iStock
An undated image of an e-commerce site. — iStock

Industry heavyweights like Amazon and eBay are well-known, but there are many other notable sites with unique features. This overview is dedicated to them.

The growth of e-commerce has revolutionised the retail industry, with an estimated 12 to 24 million e-commerce sites globally, generating record revenues.

Top 3 e-commerce sites


Amazon is by far the world’s largest e-commerce site. Founded in 1994 as an online book retailer, it now attracts millions of monthly visits and offers a vast array of products.

The retail giant operates in 19 other countries, including Australia, Austria, China, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Germany, and India, among others.

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In addition to being a B2C (business-to-consumer) marketplace, Amazon also functions as a B2B (business-to-business) marketplace through Amazon Business. This platform allows sellers to reach B2B customers with tailored pricing and features designed for businesses of all sizes.

Amazon offers a massive consumer base and is simple to use, making it a well-established brand. However, this popularity means heightened competition.


eBay is one of the world’s largest consumer-to-consumer e-commerce sites and a leader in the business-to-consumer marketplace.

The site delivers to 190 countries and territories, boasting a user base of 132 million.

Users can sell on eBay by registering on the platform and listing items. The first 250 listings are free, after which there’s a non-refundable insertion fee of $0.35 per listing.

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Similar to Amazon, eBay is easy to use, though the large user base results in fierce competition.


Owned by the Alibaba Group, AliExpress is one of the world’s largest e-commerce sites.

The sellers are predominantly from China, and the target market is international buyers. AliExpress does not sell to customers in Mainland China. The website supports 16 languages, including English, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

AliExpress is particularly beneficial for drop-shippers, offering many affordable products. It helps users reduce overhead costs by allowing direct shipping to customers, eliminating the need for inventory management.

However, AliExpress is often criticised for its shipping times, which range from 15 days to two months. Some customers have reported even longer delays.