We knew this day would come.

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), the e-commerce juggernaut that has pioneered industries as diverse as online retail, e-books, and cloud computing, has been working toward this for ages: The day when its market value would best Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT).

Its dominance in e-commerce has gradually eroded Wal-Mart's growth, and the success of its cloud computing unit has assured investors that the company can, in fact, be profitable. Below, we take a further look at how Amazon was able to topple the big box retailer.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.