There’s no doubt about what type of companies dominate the new B2B E-Commerce 300, the ranking of business-to-business companies launched in its inaugural printed and digital editions this week. Manufacturers are way out in front, accounting for almost half of the 300 companies and close to 90% of the combined online sales volume. But they’re not the ones growing the fastest.

The 138 manufacturers in the B2B E-Commerce 300 range from behemoths like Exxon Mobil Corp. (No. 1 in the ranking), Apple Inc. (No. 3) and General Motors Corp. (No. 4) to relatively tiny specialty manufacturers like satellite communications devices provider Orbital Tracking Corp. (No. 283) and paddleboard maker Boga Paddle and Surf Co. (No. 287). Altogether, the projected 2015 e-commerce sales to business customers of the 138 manufacturers total $478.68 billion, up 12.7% from $424.85 billion in 2014. These figures, as well as those on other companies in the ranking, include figures reported directly by companies and estimates made by the research and editorial departments of Vertical Web Media LLC, the publisher of the B2B E-Commerce 300, the news site, the newsletter B2BecNews and the business magazine Internet Retailer.

The sharpest growth revealed in the ranking, however, comes from the 70 distributors ranked in the B2B E-Commerce 300. They include major players like US Foods Inc. (No. 10) and Tech Data Corp. (No. 46) and niche distributors like gifts supplier Christian Art Gifts Inc. (No. 277) and lighting products provider The Lightbulb Co. (No. 296). The total projected B2B e-commerce sales of distributors in the ranking are projected to increase 23.5% year over year in 2015 to $34.40 billion.

The 63 companies classified in the ranking as retailers—including Amazon Business (No. 37), Staples Advantage (No. 21) and Inc. (No. 153)—have total projected 2015 e-commerce sales to businesses of $30.11 billion, up 13.2% from 2014.

The remaining 29 companies listed in the B2B E-Commerce 300 are wholesalers, including Tire Rack Inc. (No. 120), construction products supplier Westside Wholesale Inc. (No. 172) and tools supplier Acme Tools (No. 174). The combined 2015 B2B e-commerce sales of the 29 wholesalers are projected to increase 12.1% year over year to $3.93 billion.


The B2B E-Commerce 300 also sorts B2B e-commerce sales and growth rates by18 industry markets across industrial and consumer products, including Aerospace/Defense, Apparel/Accessories, Chemicals, Computers/Electronics, Mass Merchants, Pharmaceuticals and Sporting Goods. The largest market category by number of companies is Hardware/Home Improvement, with 42 companies and combined projected 2015 B2B e-commerce sales of $22.01 billion, followed by Computers/Electronics with 38 companies and combined projected 2015 B2B e-commerce sales of $108.87 billion.

The largest market category by projected 2015 e-commerce sales volume is Petroleum Products/Energy, with $125.21 billion in sales spread across 15 companies, followed by Computers/Electronics.

The market category with the fastest growth is Mass Merchant, with projected year-over-year growth of 28.1% to $4.08 billion among the nine companies listed as mass merchants, including Amazon Business and Kole Imports Inc.

Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer. Follow B2BecNews editor Paul Demery on Twitter @pdemery.