The e-commerce sector has made significant progress amidst the pandemic. With lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders across the world, the footfalls at brick-and-mortar shops have fallen drastically. As a result, people are shopping online and that is proving to be a tailwind for e-commerce companies. Among the best e-commerce stocks to buy are Amazon, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, and Etsy. Even companies like Prologis, which provide logistics services to e-commerce firms, are benefitting from the rising demand for online shopping.
Amazon’s stock (AMZN) has gained a staggering 80% since the start of 2020 and 105% since hitting a low in March. Alibaba (BABA) is up 30% since January 2nd, 2020, and up 110% since the March market fall. Etsy (ETSY), on the other hand, is up 164% year-to-date and up 277% since the March market crash. In terms of recent stock market performance, these three companies are definitely among the top e-commerce stocks to buy right now.
Alibaba is the world’s largest mobile and e-commerce company in terms of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV). Its GMV was $846 billion as of fiscal year ended in March 2019. It operates multiple marketplaces that allow it to accumulate vast amounts of strategic data. This data together with strong network effects enables Alibaba to expand into other areas like entertainment, cloud computing, and other offline-to-online services. Alibaba is, in fact, considered to be one of the best cloud computing stocks to buy. Alibaba enjoys an early-mover advantage in China over traditional cloud players like Azure and Amazon Web Services.
However, Alibaba also faces intense competition from another giant – Chinese company Tencent. The impact of the pandemic is also expected to alter the online consumption patterns within China in the near term. There is also increasing regulation on mobile payments businesses in China. However, the long-term runway for growth seems intact and Alibaba’s moats like scale and network effects are enough to place it favorably among e-commerce businesses.