E-commerce is a massive and rapidly expanding industry. Global online retail sales will grow to an astounding $6.5 trillion by 2023, up from $3.5 trillion in 2019, according to Statista. These estimates may even prove to be conservative, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the migration of traditional retail sales to online channels.
The following three e-commerce titans can help you insulate your investment portfolio from a coronavirus-related market downturn -- and allow you to profit from the online retail megatrend.
Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) helps people establish and grow online businesses. More than 1 million merchants use Shopify's platform to power their online operations. This includes small one-person businesses all the way up to massive corporations like PepsiCo, Nestle, and Anheuser Busch Inbev. In all, these businesses have generated over $155 billion in sales on Shopify's platform -- a figure that should continue to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Shopify's new fulfillment network is a key growth driver in the U.S., and the e-commerce star is expanding aggressively in international markets -- all of which should help to drive revenue and, eventually, profits, higher in the coming decade. Additionally, with so many brick-and-mortar stores being forced to shut down due to COVID-19, some perhaps permanently, Shopify is likely to experience even higher demand for its online business-building services.
Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is the e-commerce leader in China with a greater than 50% market share, according to eMarketer. China's online retail sales are projected to exceed a staggering $4 trillion by 2023, up from $1.9 trillion in 2019.
Alibaba is helping to keep the country's nearly 1.4 billion citizens supplied with food and other essential household goods during government-mandated COVID-19 quarantines, which could help provide a near-term sales boost. Moreover, many of these people will likely remain customers after the quarantines end, which should help to accelerate Alibaba's growth. But no matter what happens in the short-term, Alibaba's place atop the e-commerce industry of the world's most populous nation makes it a solid long-term investment.
No e-commerce stock list would be complete without Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN). The online retail juggernaut dominates e-commerce in the U.S. and many other areas of the world. As such, no company stands to benefit more from the growth of this enormous industry more than the mighty Amazon.
Better still, Amazon's near-term results may be shockingly good, with multiple signs indicating that it's experiencing surging demand for food and other supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. With thousands of traditional stores closed, many people are shopping on Amazon.com for the first time, and many others are spending much more on its websites than they have in the past. This should only help to accelerate Amazon's already impressive growth -- and perhaps much more than investors currently expect.