Amazon dominated retail in 2018 - and no one else even came close to touching it

bezosGetty/Drew Angerer

  • Amazon had a killer 2018 in nearly all respects, but its retail performance defied expectations.
  • The company is projected to close the year netting half of all online shopping done in the US with staggering sales growth online.
  • No other retailer came close, which is why we're naming it the most impressive retailer of 2018.

For retail in 2018, there was really only one word that was on everybody's lips: Amazon.

Just a mere mention of the online shopping giant sends other companies into a flurry of speculation - whether Amazon competes directly or not.

It's easy to see why: Amazon is seeing incredible growth for a company of its size, making it one of the biggest retailers in the US and the world both online and off.

In the US, Amazon will close out the year nabbing nearly half of all online sales, according to analysis by Emarketer, up from a 43.5% in 2017. Amazon will generate $258.22 billion in online retail sales in the US by the end of the year, a staggering increase of almost 30% from the year prior.

Read more: Amazon reveals the top-selling items of the season as it announces record-breaking holiday sales

But impressive sales aren't the only thing that Amazon got right in 2018.

Amazon Web Services and Amazon Advertising are both also experiencing phenomenal growth, and its Alexa-enabled products remain the most popular smart devices. It's moving increasingly offline with Amazon Go stores, and its new 4-Star concept.

As a company, it was able to perform to this impressive standard despite a growing set of detractors, both from elected representatives and the public. Despite a glitchy Prime Day that made customers upset. Despite HQ2 backlash. Despite competitors like Walmart nipping at its heels. Despite a trade war waged between China and President Trump and shipping costs becoming incrementally more expensive.

Despite it all, Amazon will head into 2019 more confident than ever that nothing will hold it back. Now that is impressive.

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