Capstone Headwaters Reports: E-Commerce Demand Surges, Middle Market Online Marketplaces Poised to Attract Buyers

November 17, 2020

Boston, MA – Capstone Headwaters released its E-Commerce & Internet Retailing industry update today.  E-commerce demand has reached unprecedented levels amid COVID-19, with online sales rising 44.5% in Q2 year-over-year, accounting for over 16% of total retail sales, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  As consumer preferences for digital capabilities have accelerated, online marketplaces have captured heightened sales growth. 

“Specialized online marketplaces are posting impressive numbers as increasingly educated digital consumers seek them out for more involved purchases. We believe this trend will only increase with time and have seen successful models across several segments including Large Discretionary Consumer Goods, Personal Care, and Health & Wellness. However, they are increasingly popping up across all consumer categories. As a result, strategic buyers are showing interest in acquiring specialized marketplaces and several private equity (PE) investors are taking notice of the area as well,” said Senior Director, Lisa Tolliver.  

Online marketplaces often possess greater pricing transparency than product manufacturers, leveraging instantaneous customer feedback to gauge demand and implement the most effective price points. Following a slowdown in M&A volume in Q2 and Q3, deal activity has begun to stabilize in the E-commerce industry, leaving middle market online marketplaces with robust digital capabilities poised to attract strong strategic and private equity interest.     


Capstone Headwaters is one of the largest and most active independent investment banking firms in the United States.  The firm has a rich 15+ year history of achieving extraordinary results for middle market entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, and creditors.  Capstone offers a fully integrated suite of corporate finance services, including merger & acquisition, debt & equity placement, corporate restructuring, valuation & fairness opinion, financial advisory, and ESOP advisory services.  Headquartered in Boston, the firm has 150+ professionals across 16 offices in the U.S., with and an international presence including over 450 professionals in 40 countries. With 16 dedicated industry groups, the firm delivers sector-specific expertise through large, cross-functional teams on a global basis.  Capstone has been named “U.S. Middle Market Investment Bank of the Year” for the past 9 consecutive years and is consistently recognized as one of the top investment banking firms to work for. For more information, visit

For More Information Contact the Key Report Contributors: 

Kenneth Wasik 
Managing Director, Head of Consumer & Retail 

Lisa Tolliver 
Senior Director