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Marketplaces, the dynasties of the e-commerce economy

Marketplaces, the dynasties of the e-commerce economy

The word ‘Dynasty’ is normally reserved for describing the rich and powerful from Russian Tzars and Japanese emperors, through to the Kennedy’s and most recently Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet whom combined, have more wealth than the entire bottom half of the American population combined. 

If I was to pose the question; “which companies come to mind that during the last 30 years, fundamentally changed how we live our lives”?  What would you answer? For me, the answer would include Microsoft, Google, Apple, Uber and Amazon, these companies are without-doubt dynasties in their respective segments of the world’s economy.

To pose yet another question; “Which 3 companies that dominate the world of e-commerce?” Bear them in mind I’ll come back to them.

While we are on a trajectory a quick history lesson prefaced by another question; what the first commerce transaction ever over an electronic network?

Students at Stanford University and MIT sometime between 1971 and 1972 sold some marijuana via ARPANET, the precursor to the internet we know today.  However, this transaction didn’t tick all the boxes for what we know today as an e-commerce transaction. The first e-commerce transaction over the internet was in August 1994 when Dan Kohn who created a website called Net Market and sold a friend in Philadelphia a CD of Sting’s "Ten Summoner’s Tales" for $12.48 plus shipping and used data encryption software to send his credit card number securely.

Now that you know a little about e-commerce history, we edge ever closer to the answer as to which companies are indeed the dynasties of the e-commerce economy. The three that instantly come to mind for me and most likely you too are; Amazon, Alibaba and eBay and we would both correct. However in the top 10 list of the world’s largest e-commerce companies by revenue measurement, there may be some you have never heard and at least one which you had forgotten, they are:

  1. Amazon Inc.
  2. Alibaba (owns Taobao)
  3. com
  4. ChinaBrands
  5. Walmart
  6. Zalando
  7. Flipkart Pvt ltd
  8. Rakuten Inc.
  9. Groupon
  10. eBay Inc.

Now, my title falls into context as every company on the list is an e-commerce marketplace or has a market place as the most significant part of their business.

These e-commerce dynasties continue to grow exponentially by providing other businesses mainly SME’s the platform to sell their goods to an audience of billions without the expertise or capital costs required, effectively sharing the costs with 10’s of thousands of other businesses.

 It’s a recipe for unmitigated success for the vendors and the virtual marketplace providers and they will continue to exceed all grow expectations by innovating with services such as drone deliveries and further cementing their status as the Dynasties of the e-commerce economy.