September 9, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

First off, just how many eCommerce companies are there? Take a guess.

By various estimates, there are at least over 2 million eCommerce websites in the World (excluding China). We define a website to be an eCommerce site if it:

  • uses an eCommerce platform or shopping cart or
  • uses any payment technology (e.g., Stripe, PayPal) or
  • has any payment acceptance on its site (e.g., Visa, AmEx)

Based on the above set of filtering parameters, PipeCandy has identified about 1.3 million of these in the U.S. Of these 1.3 million websites that PipeCandy tracks, about 860,000 are ‘valid’ eCommerce companies, of which nearly one-third (285,000) are B2C eCommerce companies selling physical goods.  

What are ‘valid’ eCommerce companies? 

We ensure that the eCommerce sites belong to valid businesses using checks such as the following:  

  • Is the website URL valid or does it redirect to a URL determined as ‘valid’?  
  • Does the website have trackable traffic (>50 visits a month) for at least three months?  
  • The website is not a parked domain AND is not a marketing page or landing page to generate ad revenue

In this blog post, we take a look at what these approximately 285,000 merchants are selling. 

The major product categories include Fashion (Apparel, Footwear, Bags, Accessories, Jewelry, Eyewear, Cosmetics, and Beauty), Consumer Electronics, Sporting goods, Health & Wellness (Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Aromatherapy products, etc.), Pets/Pet supplies and Children’s goods (Toys, Children’s clothing, etc.).

Fashion (combining Apparel & Accessories and Style & Fashion) is the most dominant product category, accounting for 27.5% of the universe, followed by Consumer electronics (9.6%), Home and Garden (5.9%) and Health and Wellness (5.9%).

Apart from the major product categories listed in the table above, there are a few other product categories that we’ve clubbed together under the umbrella of ‘Other Categories’ (22.4%) such as Legal drugs, Food & Beverage, Stationery goods, General Merchandise, Gift & Novelty, etc.

About 9.6% or ~27,270 companies are identified as B2C merchants selling physical goods but have yet to be categorized at the time of writing.

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Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

Currently donning the Researcher's hat. Talks to himself.