instagramlinkedinfacebooktwitterblog postcase studyarrow rightarrow leftClose
Skip to the main content

Fastenal’s $10 Billion Goal, China’s 24% Online Sales Growth and Grainger’s Zoro Investment

Bolts on a table

Fastenal’s $10 Billion Digital Goal

Fastenal, a distributor of industrial and construction supplies, increased sales 13% last year, reaching approximately $5 billion in sales, and are planning on hitting $10 billion sooner rather than later. However, more rapid growth of 20% came from their internet vending machines. These vending machines can be  found at various customer locations and include items such as work gloves, aprons and metal-cutting tools. In addition to their rapidly growing vending machines, Fastenal has seen significant growth through their ecommerce site, Fastenal.com. They had more than 81,000 vending machines at various locations, which was a 14% increase from 2017, and they are planning on instituting 25,000 more in 2019.

What stood out to us? Fasten(al) your seatbelts! We’re in for a ride.

Why should you care? Internet vending machine deja vu, anyone?


Chart on China's ecommerce market

China Online Sales Grow 24%

China is quickly growing and leaving others in the dust... which shows with their 24% growth in 2018. China’s retail market is going to become the largest in the world, surpassing United States in 2019 and reaching $6 trillion in 2020. Their online retail sales hit $1.33 trillion in 2018, a 23.90% increase from 2017. Ecommerce sales are growing in China and they have exceeded the United States since 2013, but the United States retail market is still larger than China's. However, China could take over as the largest retail market in 2019.

What stood out to us? That’s trillion with a T.

Why should you care? This is happening during China’s economic slowdown.


Saw with sparks

Grainger Invests More In Zoro

Grainger, a multi-billion-dollar industrial products distributor, grew year over year sales in 2018 by 8%. However, they noticed impressive growth in their online businesses, Zoro.com and Japan-based MonotaRO.com. These two online businesses grew 23% on a daily basis, versus the 7% on a daily basis for total sales. Grainger, who has a large customer base, is investing strongly in Zoro to increase staff, expand SKUs, improve website features, grow digital marketing and more. As Zoro continues to grow, they plan to expand to more mid-sized companies.

What stood out to us? Who knew that clever swordsman would turn into an ecommerce giant.

Why should you care? As promised, an “industrial” size delivery of ecommerce news.


In the headlines

  • Amazon’s small autonomous delivery vehicle: They’re testing it out, and it’s called “Amazon Scout”
  • Flipkart’s wholesale unit investment: It was $201M to be exact, despite their ecommerce shake-up
  • Oreo and AR Snapchat lenses: It’s all behind a European campaign
  • Fundbox Pay and B2B growth:Expansion is on their radar

Before you go

Read this if...

Want to keep track of key global ecommerce dates.

Learn about...

The basics of B2B lead generation.

Listen to this if...

You want to learn about building an ecommerce business with apparel sales and manufacturing.


Dose data of the week

Pac-man chart


This is for you

If you’re not getting The Dose sent to your inbox every Saturday, make life easier by subscribing here.

Little boy playing with a tool in his nose

Have a nice weekend!

Be an ecommerce expert. Share the knowledge. Share The Dose. 

Amla_LinkedIn Amla Facebook Amla Twitter 

Feed your business, mind, and soul.

Stop wasting time looking for the latest ecommerce news.

Sign up for our newsletter