Stocks to buy

In discussing e-commerce stocks, Amazon immediately pops into mind because of its sheer dominance over the space.

In fact, it accounts for 37.8% of all e-commerce sales, the most of any firm by a wide margin. Despite its strength, there are plenty of legitimate competitors vying for their share of the incredible revenues to be had. 

The U.S. market should produce $1.1 trillion in sales in 2023 and the global market, $6.3 trillion. The expected 10.4% growth in 2023 means that by 2026 the global market will have ballooned to $8.1 trillion in value. In short, the market remains wide open for others. 

Investors should consider that the next e-commerce stocks to buy that are already springing up globally and that the next Amazons of the world already exist with real investment opportunities.

MELI MercadoLibre  $1,256.04
WMT Walmart  $149.70
BABA Alibaba  $93.95

MercadoLibre (MELI) 

Source: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) is probably already top-of-mind for investors scouting for the best e-commerce stocks to buy. It draws constant comparisons to Amazon for quite some time.

That kind of marketing can repel some investors who might otherwise be interested in what the company offers. 

But when you consider the speed with which its revenues have grown and the opportunity ahead of it, the hyperbole fades. For example, in 2016 MercadoLibre recorded a mere $844 million in sales, whereas Amazon recorded over $135 billion in sales during the same year.

They weren’t really comparable. But in 2022, MercadoLibre’s revenues had grown by a factor of 12.4, reaching $10.5 billion. It’s still a mere fraction of Amazon’s $513 billion of sales in 2022, but the growth trajectory is the point. 

Further, MercadoLibre has emerged as a regional champion across Latin America. The company has the advantage of understanding its customer base because its people are the customers. The attraction is simple: MercadoLibre dominates E-Commerce at home and is growing like Amazon did in the past.

Walmart (WMT) 

Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) stock garners massive attention simply because it is the biggest firm by sales globally. The $611.4 billion in sales it recorded put it just ahead of Saudi Aramco which reported $604.2 billion of sales in 2022. People equate Walmart with its physical locations and in-person retail. Walmart is a massive player in the E-Commerce space. 

The company is projected to make $82.1 billion in e-commerce sales this year. If Walmart e-commerce were treated as a standalone company, it would rank as roughly the 110th largest on earth. 

Walmart’s opportunity is simple, if difficult: Figure out how to upsell its E-Commerce customers. It is the most visited e-commerce website as of Dec. 31, 2022 with 854.9 million monthly visits. 

If Walmart can increase the average value of carts, its revenues will obviously increase. Walmart’s digital sales increased by 17% in the fourth quarter.

Alibaba (BABA) 

Source: zhu difeng / Shutterstock.com

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is already an e-commerce titan, there’s no doubt about it. That said, BABA stock gets overlooked for several reasons. Pandemic lockdowns had choked China’s economy, for one.

Its economy slowed significantly, hurting Alibaba in the process. Geopolitical tensions don’t help it either.

That said, Alibaba is a great opportunity for investors. China is a massive market home to the world’s largest population. But that fact might not hold as much gravity until you put numbers to the relative value of its e-commerce market.

In 2022, China’s e-commerce market was valued at $1.538 trillion while the U.S. market, the world’s 2nd largest, was valued at $875 billion. 

Alibaba’s 2022 revenues shrunk by 2.2% in 2022, to $129.2 billion. That was a product of lockdowns. A reopened China means Alibaba’s revenue floodgates have swung wide open again and growth will be strong. As China expands its international influence those growth numbers have a strong chance of improving further. 

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks.Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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