Ecommerce market data that every e-tailer should know

Retail is moving from offline to online, especially after the lockdowns of 2020. Sellers and brands are pivoting to ecommerce websites from physical stores. As the e-commerce pie zooms ahead, this is a great time to expand your digital commerce business with new markets, marketplaces and categories opening up. you may be considering new geographic markets to expand to, or new marketplaces to sell on. If you are investing in e-commerce growth, we hope this post will help you find new frontiers and customers for your e-commerce brand.

The top 10 ecommerce markets in the world

Globally, ecommerce is different in every country. As you look to expand to new markets, it helps to know about the global markets before you make your first move. Here are the top ecommerce markets globally:

China is the largest market globally, and is also the country that produces the bulk of goods sold on ecommerce platforms in every other country. The top ecommerce player in China is Alibaba. Due to strict regulation, China is a difficult market to break into. 

The US comes in second, and is an interesting market not just for Americans, but even for those who live outside the US. You can easily start an ecommerce business in the US even if you’re based outside the country. Various European and Asian markets round out the top 10 list. 

Most likely, you are looking to target the market where you reside. Or, you may want to venture out to another market that interests you more. Whichever the case, we’ll help you decide by pulling together the vital facts to look at in any ecommerce market. 

Let’s look at the global ecommerce markets and get an overview of which markets are the best options for you to expand to next.

India – Fast growing market, with some quirks


The Indian ecommerce industry is growing at a rapid pace and is set to touch $62.2 billion by 2023.

Key players

The top ecommerce companies in India are Amazon India, and Walmart-owned Flipkart. 

Estimated number of monthly visits

  • Amazon India: 200M
  • Flipkart: 157.5M
  • IndiaMart: 52.2M
  • Myntra: 14.2M
  • Snapdeal: 12.9M
  • FirstCry: 12.5M
  • 9.05M
  • BookMyShow: 7.2M
  • Nykaa: 5.35M
  • 4.65M

Among the independent ecommerce players, brands like BookMyShow (ticketing), FirstCry (kids & baby products) and 1MG (pharma) show that there is strong demand for niche products as well.

Top categories

Here are the best selling ecommerce categories in India:


While the top sellers of electronics online are Amazon and Flipkart, there are many other marketplaces that attract a good number of buyers. Snapdeal, Shopclues, 2GUD, and PayTM Mall are other pure play online marketplaces. There are also a few marketplaces that have both online and offline distribution. These include Reliance Digital, Tata-owned Croma, and Sangeetha Mobiles. 

Within electronics, smartphones is the top performing product accounting for about 50% of sales within the category. Other top products include mobile accessories like earphones, and computer accessories like monitors and keyboards.


When it comes to apparel, Flipkart’s Myntra and Jabong have a strong presence and an early start. Others include Reliance-owned Ajio, Limeroad, Zivame, and the Chinese brand Shien. Upcoming fashion brands that have been funded recently include FabAlley and Styched. Amazon has been making strides in the apparel category, and is catching up. 

Other categories

Other profitable categories are toys and games, and food and wellness products. These products have additional health and safety regulations. However, the regulations aren’t as strict as in the US. 

The B2B ecommerce landscape is also growing at a rapid pace. Reliance has recently announced its Alibaba-alternative for India, which will compete with the likes of IndiaMart – the leading B2B marketplace today. Brands like Moglix and ShakeDeal are also gaining market share among buyers of industrial equipment.

The US – Mature, and highly competitive


The American ecommerce market is the most mature globally. Ecommerce brands have established themselves over many years. Shoppers in the US have the highest level of trust when buying online.

Key Players

Amazon has led the ecommerce industry in the US for over a decade. Walmart is late to the ecommerce party, but is now starting to invest heavily into ecommerce to compete with Amazon. 

eBay is in the third spot, while others like Target, Etsy, The Home Depot, and Best Buy round out the top 10. The Chinese AliExpress just about manages to make it to the 10th spot. However, this is likely to change with the recent pandemic and anti-China sentiments in the US.

The good thing is that for a seller, you have many established marketplaces where you can set up shop easily, and start selling your products. But beware, the competition is intense as there are already mature sellers in every category. It would take disruption to reach the top in any category in the US ecommerce market. 

Top categories

Though you might think electronics would be the top category in the US, it’s actually Books, music & video. Americans take their entertainment very seriously. 

Electronics is the second-highest category followed by Toys & hobby products. 

When it comes to apparel, there are marketplaces like Not Just A Label, ASOS, and Nineteenth Amendment. There are also niche websites that focus on sub-categories like bridal wear (, lingerie (Boohoo), and kids clothing (The Children’s Place).

The UK – Lots in common with the US

Here are the top online marketplaces in the UK:

  • Amazon: 416.9M 
  • Ebay: 244.9M
  • ASOS: 22.4M
  • Etsy: 19.4M
  • Wayfair: 16.3M

Amazon and Ebay are the top generic marketplaces in the UK, but there are other category-specific marketplaces as well. is the top electronics marketplace in the UK with a focus on video gaming products. For apparel and fashion, tops the list with a focus on women’s and kids’ clothing.

Many brands like Etsy and Wayfair are successful in both the US and the UK. This shows that these markets have a lot in common. For sellers and brands that already have a presence in the US, the UK is a

Europe – A mix of the big and small

The Europe market is interesting because it makes up many countries that are part of the EU.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon and Ebay are the most popular ecommerce platforms here. However, at number three is AliExpress, the Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform from China. Allegro is a Poland-based ecommerce company that recently had an IPO. It presents a unique opportunity for expanding in the EU markets.

Zalando is the top fashion e-tailer in Europe, and Amazon leads with electronics. Wayfair has a sizable presence for home decor products

Australia & New Zealand – Ebay in the lead

Unlike in most markets where Amazon dominates, in the AU/NZ market Ebay comes out on top with Amazon taking the second spot. is a popular marketplace in Australia. When it comes to fashion The Iconic and ASOS are big players in this market. 

Woolworth’s and K-Mart are two Australia-born retail brands that have expanded to have an online presence

ASEAN – Home-grown brands

The ASEAN market includes 11 countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. They represent a fast-growing market that the big players like Amazon and Walmart haven’t penetrated yet. Instead, local players like Shopee, and Lazada reign in these markets. However, with a huge $2 billion investment in Lazada, Alibaba owns a majority stake in the company.

For fashion, Zalora is a popular ecommerce marketplace in the region.


If you’re in the ecommerce business, you need to be on top of these key figures. Knowing the key players in the market, top categories, and unique characteristics of your market are important for your success. Taking a global view of ecommerce you’ll find that the opportunities are everywhere, and today’s ecommerce market is without boundary.

Do you have any insights into these markets you’d like to share with us? Leave a comment below.

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6 Data Productivity Questions to Ask Your Enterprise

BI tools from a decade ago are complex solutions that would only be approached by skilled professionals, set up by IT, and of use only to the C-suite. These solutions created data silos within organizations, slowed down operations, and were expensive to set up and maintain. As we enter a new world of cloud-based purposeful BI tools, it’s time to put every BI solution under the scanner and reassess what is expected of them. Let’s look at 6 ways every organization can use to drive org-wide adoption of their BI tool.

1. How quickly can you do ad hoc analysis?

Traditional BI tools were most widely used to create dashboards to track the frequently accessed data and the most important KPIs of the organization. This is essential and still required. However, when it comes to ad hoc analysis and looking for a specific piece of data to make a day-to-day operational decision, these tools fall short. You need to jump through hoops, type in complex queries, tweak results indefinitely, and navigate through a clunky interface all the while. By the time the user finds their answer, they’ve forgotten why they needed the data in the first place. This is counterintuitive. If you rely on a business analyst, the response can take days to come depending on how busy the analyst is, and your seniority in the organization. 

Today’s BI tools need to be fast and deliver ad hoc insights in 1 minute. This requires the tool to understand what the user is looking for and be able to deliver a result immediately. It makes the tool sound almost human-like, and that’s what is possible if technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are employed by BI tools. A BI tool that can understand natural human language are new to the world of BI, but can get ad hoc analysis done in a matter of minutes.

2. Is your data speaking your business reality?

Every organization has its own unique jargon when it comes to data. One organization may call it ‘tickets’ and another calls it ‘issues,’ one organization calls it ‘leads’ and another calls it ‘contacts.’ Similarly, when you use the word ‘sales’ does it include data from all sales channels such as online, retail, partners, etc. Sometimes a single word can have more than one meaning, and many different words can mean the same thing. The BI tool needs to understand your company’s unique jargon.

In the past, BI tool users would get lost in translation trying to keep up with organizational lingo and the inflexibility of the BI tool they use. Not anymore. BI tools of today need to be nimble and perceptive enough to understand and adapt to the jargon of the organization. 

Modern BI tools need to have the ability to customize the labels and categories used to identify data. BI tool users should feel free to use the exact jargon they use internally when talking to their BI tool. The tool should adapt to the user, not the other way around.

3. Is your BI tool flexible and scalable?

BI tools typically focus on connecting to a data source, supporting complex queries, and enabling some visualization via the user interface. It’s up to the BI personnel to run complex queries that wield the full power of the BI tool and find their answer. This puts all the burden on the BI tool user. 

A BI tool for today should do the heavy lifting of capturing and organizing data and keeping it ready for analysis. The way this is done is by using metadata. There are many advantages of having a metadata layer – it is much smaller than the original data set, it acts as a map to quickly find the needle in the haystack, and it protects the original data from getting tampered with. The biggest benefit of having a metadata layer is that it speeds up analysis by enabling shortcuts to the data.

4. How easy is it to deep dive into data?

BI tools have static dashboards that present data in just one way. If you want to view the same data in a different way, you’d be scared to mess with the settings of the dashboard. Only the most skilled BI folk would dare to venture away from the pre-set dashboards and create a different view of the same data. 

A modern BI tool should invite users to play with the data they’re viewing and discover new insights easily. This means they should be able to change the chart type from a line chart to a bubble chart with just one click. Further, the BI tool should be intelligent enough to allow only those changes that the data itself supports, and hide those views that aren’t conducive to the present data. Every chart should be interactive, and enable drilling down into the data for deeper analysis. 

Rather than snoozing on a decision till the next meeting when the analyst gets the required data, you should be able to quickly pull up the required numbers yourself. If it takes you a couple of clicks and around a minute to pull up the data, you’d gladly do it. However, this is a tall ask and most traditional BI tools would fail this test of agility.

5. Is your BI enabling seamless collaboration?

The problem with complex BI tools of the past is that they limit the power of data within an organization. If only IT can customize the tool, and only trained BI professionals can run queries on the tool, the tool is out of reach of executives, middle managers, and frontline operational staff – that’s more than 95% of the organization. 

Today, organizations should demand that their BI tool allows non-BI folk to be able to use it too. This means a CFO who wants to know how many orders came in from tier-2 cities for the past 6 months and the 6 months prior to that should be able to log into the tool and find the answer themselves in under five minutes. A manager who wants to see how many tickets were closed by their team before and after a product release should have that information in under five minutes without having to contact BI. A frontline staff who needs to view a specific metric should be able to create a dashboard on their own within five minutes without contacting IT. 

This doesn’t mean that the BI tool should be dumbed down for lay users and be of no use to BI professionals. Rather, BI experts would also benefit from these improvements as they can expect executives and others to find answers to most data questions on their own, and rely on the BI team only for the most complex analysis. The BI team can avoid the mundane sweat work and focus on high-value contributions to the organization.

6. Is BI welcoming for new users, teams & business units?

Last but not least, BI tools should enable collaboration. In the past, BI tools were good for generating static reports that were emailed as attachments, and the discussions would happen over email. This is a compartmentalized experience for users. 

In a world of social media and commenting, BI tools should allow for collaboration around reports via comments. This would be more engaging for users. It would make the data more effective, and encourage deeper analysis of the data that’s being discussed. Further, scheduling and sharing reports shouldn’t be possible from the frontend interface for all users and not hidden for administrators alone. 

Further there should be support for new users who are learning to use the BI tool. This would include a knowledge base, onboarding documentation, webinars, office hours with experts, and even internal buddies who can help newbies get up to speed with the BI tool. Most BI tools leave you orphaned to figure out their complex interface on your own.

A handy scorecard

Here is a useful scorecard to help you rate your BI tool today:

If you’ve answered ‘No’ to more than two of these questions, it’s time you took a long hard look at your existing BI tool, and consider a change.

Wrapping it up

In conclusion, BI tools are set to be disrupted in a modern cloud-native world. Expensive and elitist platforms that keep data analysis out of reach will be passé. They will be replaced by more nimble agile alternatives that democratize data, break down walls between teams, get non-BI folk interested and talking about data in the hallways, and greatly quicken the time from data to insight.

Orcablue – An enterprise-ready data assistant for everyone

At Orcablue, we’re building a modern BI solution that follows these principles and liberates data from the confines of traditional BI tools. Orcablue is a data assistant that can understand queries such as ‘how many sales did we have from New York in 2019 QoQ.’. It can understand all your data sources, metrics, business rules and more with effortless automation offered as an agile subscription for businesses. Further, with mature visualization and collaboration capabilities built-in, makes working with data intuitive and effortless for your entire organization at 90% lower costs and efforts. Get a demo of Orcablue today and put the intelligence back into BI.

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