From Amazon To Zappos: A Comprehensive Guide To Online Retailers

Online retail stores or e-commerce stores started in the late twentieth century. In 1989 the first e-commerce store started in the form of computer-based markets where sellers could post items on the net, and buyers could purchase them via credit cards.

Today, after almost thirty-five years, e-commerce has become a household name. Today some of the most profitable corporations in the world are online retail stores.

So when it comes to online retail stores, people are spoilt for choice. This article gives you an idea of some of the most popular names in the field of online retail.

Some Of The Most Popular Online Stores: All That You Need To Know About Them



It is probably one of the biggest names in the world of online retailers and also one of the biggest conglomerates in the world. The company started in the early 1990s in the Seattle area, probably because of the large number of technically competent people that were available in areas in and around Seattle.

After the US, the company began its operations in the markets of Japan and Canada in the early 2000s. And then, it ventured into markets of emerging economies like India and Mexico after 2010.

During the Covid 19 pandemic, when people were restricted from visiting physical markets, this online store grew almost exponentially. And today, the owner Jeff Bezos has made Amazon into a household name. True to the logo of the brand, which depicts an arrow that starts from “A” and ends with “Z,” Amazon serves every need from A to Z.

One of the biggest advantages of Amazon is the wide range of products that it offers. From everyday grocery items to the most sophisticated electronic products, you find it all under one roof. From babyhood to software codes, there is one market for all your needs.


Amazon is basically a marketplace which means the website displays products from different sellers under one roof making life easy for the buyer.

There are several reasons why Amazon has become so popular. The great affiliation marketing program, the ease of delivery, and the amazing offers have all contributed to making the brand a household name.

In fact, the website is available in all the popular languages in the world. It is available in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, English and at least ten other languages, making them accessible to people in almost all the continents of the world.

Apart from this, the robust return and replacement policy and the great grievance redressal mechanism have contributed immensely to the popularity of the company. If the original tag is intact, the company will pick up the goods within two to five business days after you have filled up a simple form that asks about the reasons for your return.

Today the owners have diversified into many fields, and from top-notch entertainment to artificial intelligence, the company has made its presence felt everywhere. In fact, the cloud computing services provided by the company are one the most popular in the world and have been adopted by many corporations for their work.

However, the meteoric rise of the company and its widespread acceptance does not mean that the company has not met its fair share of challenges and controversies. In fact, the company faced criticism for its anti-competitive policies, which were seen as promoting monopolistic tendencies in several markets across the world. Moreover, the treatment meted out to its employees and its end consumers has also come under fire on some occasions.



Zappos is another name in the online retail business, which started its operations in Las Vegas in the year 1999. So popular was this online retail site that within a year of its foundation that is between 1999 and 2000, the company achieved a gross sales figure that touched 1.6 billion dollars.

Another major milestone for the company was achieved in the year 2008 when it reached sales of 1 billion dollars. And in 2009, it made its entry into the Fortune 100 list. The company was acquired by Amazon the very next year.

Although this e-commerce started primarily as a seller of shoes, it has since diversified its products. And today, you can find shoes, accessories, and a wide range of clothing in its product list.

However, shoes have by and large been their specialization, and they sell different types of shoes, of which vegan shoes are quite revolutionary. In contrast to animal leather which goes into the making of shoes, this company promoted the idea of artificial leather that has a leather-like finish, yet it does not kill or sacrifice animals to obtain the leather.



Unlike the two companies that have been mentioned above, Alibaba did not have its foundations on US soil. It started in China in the late nineties. Today the company offers C2C ( consumer to consumer), B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) services.

Like Amazon, Alibaba has also ventured into other arenas, and as of now, it’s one the major players in fields like artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

The services of Alibaab are exported to more than two hundred nations in the world. The major export arms operate in the English language. The payments for goods and services are acceptable in a variety of online modes, and the return policy is quite robust.

The company’s website says that if the customer is not satisfied with the product, they can initiate the process of getting a refund. The platform promises to investigate, mediate and resolve the customer’s problem and also reimburse as and when it is appropriate.


Today online retail stores have become part and parcel of the common man’s life. Many countries have passed legislation to curtain the monopolistic tendencies of large e-commerce corporations as they harm small sellers who operate in domestic markets. However, the ease of transaction and the quality of products delivered by major online retailers made sure that they had steady growth over the years.