An illustration on eCommerce business success story

5 eCommerce Business Success Stories To Get Inspired in 2023

Abdullah Al Nayeem





18 min read

The eCommerce industry is growing rapidly across the world and it’ll be the main form of trade in the near future. According to Grand View Research, Inc.,

the global eCommerce market size was approximately $10,361 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach 27,148 billion by 2027!

Such huge growth has become possible due to some exceptional eCommerce initiatives. You might have already heard the stories of the giants like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay.

But there are some other initiatives that are not only significant but also inspiring.

Today, we’re going to tell you the success stories of some top eCommerce initiatives. We’ll also explain how marketplace platforms contributed to those successes.

Top 5 eCommerce Initiatives That Became Successful

There are some eCommerce initiatives that have proven becoming successful is very much possible if you have innovative ideas and your goal is clear. Also, their success stories are very much inspiring.

5 eCommerce business success stories we covered here are-

  1. Best Buy
  2. ABB
  3. Conrad
  4. Satair
  5. Afound

We talked about the companies and their initiatives under three segments – company brief, the success story, and the current status. So, stay with us to unveil some nice stories that can even motivate you to build a marketplace on your own.

Note: The companies we covered here are mostly based in Europe. However, all their businesses, particularly the eCommerce initiatives, are global. In fact, some of them implemented their initiatives outside Europe.

1. Best Buy- Top Online Marketplace for Electronic Products

An image of the Best Buy homepage
Homepage of Best Buy Online Marketplace

The story of Best Buy is quite interesting. In the last few decades, it had to change its business strategy several times due to competition from the giants like Walmart, Amazon, and eBay. But it survived eventually and succeeded.

Best Buy in Brief

Best Buy is one of the top consumer products retailers and online marketplaces in North America. It is the #1 marketplace for electronic products in the USA and Canada.

The US-based multinational company was founded in 1966 as “Sound of Music”, and changed to its current name in 1983. It sells consumer products with 1,159 retail stores in different parts of the world. It launched its online marketplace in 2011 changing its business plan.

Success Story of Best Buy

Best Buy started its journey as an audio specialty store in the US in 1966. Gradually, it shifted its focus towards consumer products, particularly electronics. The company began its superstore business in the late 1980s.

The initiative was successful, but it had to face huge competition from the companies like Walmart. The competition became huge after the rise of online marketplaces, like Amazon and eBay. Its business started to decline gradually as it became the “victim” of eCommerce.

“The company has been the chief victim of [online] shoppers who visit its stores as showrooms to research products, but then use their smartphones to buy at lower prices online from other retailers.”

Financial Times about Best Buy

From the chief victim, Best Buy has become one of the retail and eCommerce industry leaders in North America after it launched its marketplace in 2011. Its eCommerce initiative also revolutionized online business in Canada.

Current Status of Best Buy

Best Buy now sells more than 4 million products and receives over 280 million visits to its marketplace each year. And, of course, it has grown in size. Its yearly revenue crossed 47 billion in 2021.

2. ABB- Top Online Marketplace for Electrical Equipment, Robotics, and Automation

A screenshot of the ABB website homepage
ABB Website Homepage

ABB is a leading global engineering and technology company, that specializes in power, electrical equipment, robotics, and automation. They realized the importance of launching an eCommerce a bit late. But when they did, they proved what they are capable of.

ABB in Brief

ABB Ltd. is a Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland. It was founded in 1988 as ‘ASEA Brown Boveri’ through the merger of ASEA and Brown, Boveri & Cie. Currently, it operates in over 100 countries.

ABB launched its first online stores for electric products in Brazil and India consecutively in 2019 and 2020, following the ongoing demand for online shopping.

Success Story of ABB

Although ABB was officially founded in 1988, its founders have a century-long foothold in the tech industry. After its foundation, ABB gradually became Europe’s leading and one of the world’s top manufacturers of industrial tech products.

However, in the late 2010s, it experienced a shift in the tech industry, like other businesses, which created a significant impact on its revenue. They realized that people now tend to shop online whether it is an industrial or consumer product.

First, in late 2019, ABB Brazil launched “ABB Loja Online” – an eCommerce store of electric products for end-consumers, businesses, and industrial usage.

“This initiative provided one-stop access to leading electrical products for all types of customers, which revolutionized the concept of the electric marketplace in Brazil.”

In mid-2020, ABB India launched eMart for home and industrial electric products. It facilitated both B2B and B2C customers to have easy and fast access to those products. This eCommerce initiative has changed the electric products’ business in India.

Current Status of ABB

Both the eCommerce stores in Brazil and India are experiencing huge growth in terms of size and popularity every quarter. For instance: the sales of ABB Loja Online in the first quarter of 2021 were so high that it was almost equivalent to that of 2020.

3. Conrad- Popular Online Marketplace for Electronic Products

An image of Concrad homepage
Concrad Website Homepage

The success story of the eCommerce initiative of Conrad Electronic is almost similar to that of ABB. Conrad has been doing electronic products business for nearly a century, but they launched their first online marketplace a few years ago, and it changed the game.

Conrad in Brief

Conrad Electronic International is a Germany-based company that sells and distributes tech products, mostly electronics, globally. It was founded in 1923 by Max Conrad, and it is one of the largest sellers of electronic products in Germany.

Conrad launched its first electronic products marketplace in 2017 for B2B customers. It sells consumer and specialist electronics of different top brands and ships across the world.

Success Story of Conrad

Conrad has been doing the electronic products business since 1923 and became very popular as a retailer in Germany. But, in the mid-2010s, it noticed the growing demand for an online marketplace for electronics products, particularly in the B2B sphere.

Then, they shifted their business focus from retail operations to wholesale. And, in July 2017, Conrad launched its first B2B marketplace for tech and electronic products. It gave its customers convenience and a true one-stop shopping experience.

Conrad is the first B2B electronics marketplace in Germany, and within three years it experienced a huge success.

Now, Conrad is the leading B2B electronics marketplace in Germany and among the fastest growing in the world, selling over 2 million products ranging from cables to semiconductors.

Conrad’s success has shown how you can transform your century-old long business and add a new feather to its cap with the help of eCommerce.

Current Status of Conrad

Following the success, Conrad is expanding their business every day. Now, it sells and ships products to more than 210 countries across the planet. It also receives an average of 600,000 visitors to its website per month!

4. Satair- Trusted Online Marketplace to Buy Aircraft Components

The Homepage of Satair Marketplace
Homepage of Satair Marketplace

Satair can be an example to explain the ongoing revolution of the online marketplace. Due to the initiative from a company like Satair, now you buy aircraft components like spare parts online from anywhere in the world.

Satair in Brief

Satair is a Denmark-based company that sells and supplies aircraft components and provides aftermarket services. It was founded in 1957, and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airbus, one of the world’s top aerospace companies, in 2011.

Satair launched its online marketplace called “Satair Market” of aircraft spare parts in 2019, becoming the first one-stop marketplace in the aerospace industry.

Success Story of Satair

Satair has been doing the aerospace business since 1957. The company started to experience some major changes in its business strategy after it was fully acquired by Airbus in 2011.

A typical passenger aircraft usually contains over a million different parts. More than a thousand different manufacturers are involved with producing the parts, and each of them requires routine maintenance!

The maintenance process and the global supply chain for the aerospace industry are very complex. Satair wanted to make it simple – a one-stop solution for the parts and maintenance services. Along the way, it discovered a big opportunity.

In 2019, Satair launched its online marketplace of aircraft spare parts and gradually become the global leader in this industry. This eCommerce initiative helped customers to find all the parts they need in one place from anywhere in the world fast and hassle-free.

Current Status Satair

Currently, the Satair Market sells over 1,250,000 spare parts and sips them globally. It also received different awards for the initiative. And as a company, Satair is growing. It experienced a $2 billion turnover in 2021.

5. Afound- Top Online Marketplace for Fashion Items

An image of Afound website Homepage
Afound Homepage

The eCommerce initiative of Afound, an H&M brand, is very unique. It allows the trading of used or preowned fashion items and accessories on its marketplace along with unused ones! And it offers a very big discount.

Afound in Brief

Afound is a brand of H&M group, one of the world’s largest fashion and clothing companies. H&M launched Afound online marketplace in June 2018, along with a physical store in Sweden.

Success Story of Afound

H&M has always been at the forefront to ensure sustainability in the apparel industry. Keeping that in mind, the global fashion giant introduced Afound, an online marketplace with a new approach.

Afound allows third-party sellers to sell used fashion items and unused products at a high discount. The initiative has not only become environmentally sustainable, but also created a new business opportunity.

Apart from sustainability, the creation of Afound was also focused on giving the customers huge offers and letting them use products of the top brands at the lowest possible price.

Their initiative was widely appreciated, and it is getting people’s attention gradually. As a brand, Afound is growing and it expanded its business to three other countries after Sweden.

Current Status of Afound

The Afound marketplace currently operates in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. So far, over 800 brands and sellers got enlisted in its marketplace. They are selling nearly a hundred-thousand products.

How eCommerce Platforms Helped Businesses Grow

eCommerce platforms played a significant role in achieving success in each of the initiatives we talked about. The companies generated the ideas and the platforms gave shape to those.

Now, let’s discuss what kind of roles eCommerce platforms actually played behind those successes:

i. Gave Shape to the eCommerce Initiatives

eCommerce platforms are the places where you let your online store/marketplace site or app be born the way you want. The companies generated some innovative ideas. But, without the help of the platforms, those ideas won’t get shaped in real life.

ii. Allowed Building Niche-Specific eCommerce

Each of the eCommerce initiatives we coved here is unique in its own way. They are focused on a specific niche. Just think how much effort you would have to give if you wanted to build such niche-focused eCommerce by hiring coders instead of choosing a platform.

iii. Ensured Growth of the eCommerce Sites

Increasing web traffic is very crucial to ensure the growth of an eCommerce site and the initiative itself. Platforms come into play in this part as they use different tools and optimization techniques, like SEO, to drive more traffic to your site.

iv. Offered Secured and Multiple Payment Methods

Purchase and payment are the most important part of any business. If the payment isn’t secure, whether it is online or offline, it will be a big threat to your business. Besides, eCommerce business requires multiple payment methods. Platforms get you covered in both cases.

v. Helped Find Out Strengths and Weaknesses

None of your initiatives would get successful if you don’t know its strengths and weaknesses. Most eCommerce platforms have the analytics and tracking feature to help their clients to know in which part their store/marketplace is doing well, and which part isn’t.

Find Out Success Factors of The Fastest Growing eCommerce Initiatives: Move Ahead with Stronger Strategies

eCommerce business is an ever-growing industry. Though some big companies are already there, still, there is space to penetrate and make a huge sum out of that.

If you are still confused to launch your online marketplace, you can take inspiration from the success stories that we have discussed here. For instance, Best Buy started its online marketplace in 2011, and see how far they have gone now.

On the other hand, ABB India launched eMart in 2020, and currently, they’re enjoying huge growth. Also, if you want to start an online fashion business, Afound can be your motivator. So far, over 800 brands and sellers got enlisted in its marketplace, though regardless to say they started from zero.

Thus, all we want to say becoming successful with an eCommerce initiative is very much possible if your goal is clear and you have innovative ideas. So, what are you waiting for? There are still possibilities for you to become successful (maybe the next big thing!) in the eCommerce industry. Let’s start your journey now!

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