The latest Alexa rankings of the world’s top websites shows that Alibaba-owned Taobao has moved up to tenth position and that’s one place ahead of Amazon.com. That means that, according to Alexa ratings, Taobao is most visited ecommerce marketplace in the world.
There’s plenty to be said about these numbers. And the first is that whilst Alexa is a good indicator, it is not flawless when it comes to judging traffic because of the way it makes its measurements.
They produce their rankings “using a combination of average daily visitors and pageviews over the past month.” But, if truth be told, it’s very difficult to get reliable comparative data on websites and marketplaces. And the businesses are reluctant to give accurate numbers.
And then it’s worth remembering that traffic doesn’t equate to conversion into sales. It is obviously a good thing when a marketplace has stacks of traffic, and it’s also obviously good when traffic is increasing, but it is the gross merchandise sales or volume (GMS/GMV) that really count. Traffic is vanity and conversion is sanity in the ecommerce world. And this information doesn’t offer much insight there.
Next, Amazon is very much more than Amazon.com. There are twelve international Amazon marketplaces around the globe and whilst the American marketplace, used by shoppers from around the world, is absolutely the most significant, it isn’t the only Amazon show in town. Think China, Australia, Germany and the UK too, among others. This study only considers Amazon.com.
And also, China is the most populous nation on the plant. With an estimated population of 1.2bn it surely doesn’t seem absurd to wonder that a Chinese marketplace will be the biggest and most visited in due course and also deliver the most sales and greater profitability either. The United States population is believed to be 325.7 million. Americans are more affluent and enjoy greater web sophistication, but that will surely change in time as the Chinese middle-class burgeons.