The Top eCommerce Sites of 2015

by Grace Miller |

Internet Retailer recently announced its list of top ecommerce sites. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 4 out of its 5 highest-ranked performers do extremely well with younger crowds.

How did the team at Internet Retailer come to their decisions? A simple look at the following criteria clearly indicates that they gave importance to processes, media which various retailers are using, and of course, online sales and their growth.

The Main Criteria:

  • 2015 web sales and web sales growth
  • Five-year compound annual growth rate for web sales
  • Merchant rank
  • Conversion rate index
  • Average ticket index
  • Existence and performance of mobile optimized website
  • Loading time of the retailer’s website
  • Amount of traffic website receives from social media

Per Internet Retailer’s rankings, Nasty Gal Inc. has outshone many. Launched in 2006 as an eBay seller of vintage clothing for women, it now makes over $100 million yearly in sales.

The below list is just an effort to understand how those retailers managed to stay at the top even in this era of fierce online competition.

1) Nasty Gal:   

Nasty Gal came out at number one on the list of top ecommerce sites.

The striking fact about this apparel seller is its mesmerizing and constantly improving website traffic. It almost gets 20% of its traffic from social networks. According to experts, it is more than nine times higher than the average. Besides, it is doing way better as far as a loyal following on social media is concerned.

It trumps the list of top ecommerce sites due to its outstanding 92.4% five-year compound annual growth rate, which it’s maintained in the face of layoffs and high employee turnover. Additionally, its web sales growth was 20% in 2015. In contrast, Internet Retailer’s top 500 merchants’ collective web sale growth was 13.5%.

2) Urban Outfitters:

Urban Outfitters is on the list of top ecommerce sites
Urban Outfitters came in second.

The longstanding hipster favorite saw its online sales grew by 32.0% in 2015. It is astonishing considering the fact that U.S. e-commerce market as a whole saw only 14.5% growth. Furthermore, this growth is more than double the collective growth of 13.9% in the apparel category.

The company had its first billion-dollar quarter in 2015, with its Free People brand leading the way in sales growth. Part of its recent success has been attributed to a shift in marketing. For the past few years prior to 2014, the Urban Outfitters brand was targeting consumers as young as 14. With tastes that were harder to pin down and smaller wallets, this proved to be an unsuccessful demographic. In the past two years, the brand has been marketing itself to a slightly older crowd. Its lessened focus on markdowns and more mature branding have seemed to help quite a bit.

3) Apple:

Apple came in third on the list of top ecommerce sites.
Apple came in third on the list of top ecommerce sites.

This tech supremo grabbed its place largely due to its extraordinary website performance. Its homepage loads in a mere 0.758 seconds. It’s approximately six times quicker than the 4.47-second average among the 500 top ecommerce sites.

Another factor which worked in its favor was the fact that it ranked first in online sales in the books/music/video category. Also, its online sales raised at an above-market rate of 18.2%.

4) Google Play:

The Google Play store came in fourth among the top ecommerce sites
The Google Play store came in fourth.

This massive digital distribution platform of Google saw a jaw-dropping compound annual growth rate of 84.8%, which was almost four times greater than other top ecommerce sites. It also scored high in the web sales domain. Its web sales grew from $2.60 billion to $3.50 billion. This almost 35% growth was well above the growth of the U.S. e-commerce market.

It also got points due to its second rank in its product category. Despite Apple’s position above them, the Android operating system is more popular worldwide. In the last quarter of 2015, Apple’s iOS lost market share essentially everywhere except in China.

5) The Home Depot:

The Home Depot came in fifth place on the list of top ecommerce sites.
The Home Depot came in fifth place on the list.

Arguably the only un-trendy retailer on the list of top ecommerce sites, the major reason for the Home Depot’s rank is its 38.5% five-year compound annual growth rate, which was much higher than the median of the Top 500 merchants. Moreover, it was at the top place in the hardware and home improvement category.

Web sales of around $4.67 billion also boosted its ranking in this list. These sales were two and a half times more than the web sales of its nearest competitor Lowes, which had $1.77 billion in online sales last year.

The Home Depot has been prioritizing the omni-channel experience for years now and is continuing to do so. Online sales are the fastest-growing component of its business, but about 40% of them are fulfilled in-store. Its latest endeavor in this category is buy-online-deliver-from-store, which will allow the retailer to offer next-day delivery with a 2-hour window.

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