While Amazon may be the most widely used online marketplace for retailers, it may not always be the optimal choice for starting a retail business. The answer to whether Amazon is the best platform for your business is a nuanced one – it could be yes or no, depending on various factors. Your product specifications and understanding of Amazon’s algorithms can play a significant role in determining your success on the platform. However, due to the high level of competition on Amazon, some products can be overpriced, and the platform may not always be as transparent or honest as it appears to be.
Fortunately, there are other viable Amazon alternatives that you can consider for your business. By exploring these options, you can find a platform that is better suited to your specific needs and preferences. In this article, we will clarify what are the best Amazon alternatives in 2023 to consider.
The Top 5 Largest Amazon Markets
According to Statista, that’s how Amazon Markets landscape looks now:
With 356 billion U.S. dollars in net sales, the United States were Amazon’s biggest market in 2022. Germany was ranked second with 33.6 billion U.S. dollars, ahead of the UK with 30 billion U.S. dollars.
- Population: 328.2 Million
- Launch year: 1995
- Language: English
Amazon USA is the first Amazon marketplace that was established in 1995 and has since become a large online selling hub. Despite being the largest marketplace, it can still be very competitive. Starting on this platform is ideal for sellers from the U.S. and those from other countries wanting to reach a wider audience.
- Population: 83 Million
- Launch year: 1998
- Language: German
The German Amazon marketplace has the most turnover out of all of Amazon’s European offerings and comes in second place worldwide right after the American counterpart. With sales of $29.6 Billion in 2020, it has a lot of purchasing potential that makes it an attractive platform to sellers, plus there is high demand and less competition.
- Population: 126.3
- Million Launch year: 2020
- Language: Japanese
The U.K. is the second biggest market on the European continent, proving to be a useful opportunity for merchants aimed at enlarging their client base. In a study, it was revealed that 51.4% of British buyers purchase goods from Amazon at least once within a month, and 86% of shoppers are registered users.
- Population 65 Million
- Launch year: 2000
- Language: French
Amazon.fr is the biggest French marketplace, with an annual visits count of over 210 million and net sales of $3.6 billion, the third-largest in Europe.
The platform is becoming increasingly popular as it continues to expand, with more marketplaces being included in the family. When looking to enlarge operations, there are lots of potential markets to take into consideration, all of which should be thoroughly assessed beforehand to determine which one is best for your business.
- Population: 126.3 Million
- Launch year: 2020
- Language: Japanese
Amazon Japan is renowned on an international stage, appealing to vendors from different parts of the world. In Japan, 71% of the 128 million residents indulge in online shopping (making up approximately 91 million eCommerce customers), hence suggesting that sellers should not overlook this option. If you are looking to increase sales, this is the perfect way for those who are already selling products on one of Amazon’s other marketplaces.
How to Choose an Amazon Alternative
When selecting an Amazon alternative, you will need to look at a few key components.
Check the fees and shipping options.
First, look into the fees charged, as well as the shipping options and seller requirements. This will help to determine if the marketplace fits your budget and business model.
Choose the product you want to buy or sell.
Make sure the marketplace carries the products you want to buy or sell; this will help to maximize profit potential. For example, if you plan on selling handmade items, then Etsy would be a good place to look. On the other hand, Best Buy would be the better option if you plan on selling electronics.
Look through customer reviews.
If you’re a buyer or seller, it’s important to research the marketplace to make sure you get a fair deal. Checking reviews can help as they can give you a sense of the type of customer service that a marketplace offers. Furthermore, look for marketplaces that offer reliable customer service and a transparent process for handling complaints.
Find sustainable options if needed.
If you prefer an ethical or more eco-conscious option, investigate small, separate stores such as Fairmarket and Uncommon Goods. These sellers specialize in responsible procedures, fair exchange products, green resources, or delivery with a zero carbon footprint. In addition, you might want to check if the option is C Corp. Certified, which indicates that the business is highly open and responsible.
Follow the platform’s rules.
Moreover, it’s to your advantage to assume full knowledge of the regulations of the marketplace, as not adhering to them might lead to penalties.
What Are the Best Amazon Alternatives to Shop Online?
What companies are better than Amazon? When it comes to online shopping, Amazon is a top-rated website that provides a wide range of products, including electronics, groceries, gadgets, and more. However, if you are looking to explore other online shopping sites, there are great alternatives to Amazon that you can try out.
eBay is an online shopping website that is quite popular and considered one of the best online stores out there. You can purchase any product on this website, and you will get amazing prices on eBay. One of the benefits of using eBay is the availability of free shipping, renewed items, and refurbished items. Additionally, you can sell used items online via the eBay marketplace.
AliExpress is a global online store that offers a different range of products. Although learning how to shop on AliExpress might seem difficult at first, it is one of the best online shopping websites that offer the best shopping experience. Over the years, AliExpress has been gaining popularity, and you can get juicy deals on most products at low prices. As a new customer, you will also get a free $5 gift. Shopping on AliExpress is one of the best experiences out there.
Walmart is also a popular website and one of Amazon’s biggest competitors. It is one of the largest online stores to shop for almost anything, including electronics, groceries, clothes, and more. Walmart offers free shipping, and you can opt for pickup shopping from a physical store. Walmart is one of the best websites, like Amazon that provides excellent online shopping experiences.
Target.com is another website that offers a same-day delivery option, where you can order any item and have it delivered to your doorstep before the end of the day. You can purchase different types of products from Target, and the prices are usually lower. Although Target may not be as big as Amazon, it is a great option if you need discounts on any products. Target offers one of the best online shopping experiences out there, and you can get free shipping or discounts on your delivery.
Newegg is a website that is dedicated to shopping for computer hardware and other types of electronics. On Newegg, you can purchase computer parts such as motherboards, graphics cards, memories, and other computer hardware. There are also different categories of gadgets on Newegg, and all items are sold new. Additionally, you get free shipping when you purchase above $100. The website is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Alternatives To Amazon For Sustainable Online Shopping
Shopping online has become increasingly popular due to its convenience, especially for those who live in rural areas or don’t have access to sustainable stores nearby. However, while Amazon has undoubtedly made life easier for millions of people worldwide, it’s not the most ethical choice regarding online marketplaces. Every month, more than 197 million people browse, click, and purchase from the leading marketplace, so it’s hard to say that Amazon shopping is sustainable. Despite its many benefits, thousands of people search for ethical alternatives to Amazon.
Thankfully, there are several excellent alternatives to Amazon. These online marketplaces prioritize small businesses, independent artisans and makers, and ethical, sustainable business practices. Whether you need cleaning supplies, pantry essentials, or non-toxic skincare products, you can find them at these online stores, regardless of where you live.
Grove Collaborative, Public Goods, and the Package-Free Shop offer a wide range of sustainable home and cleaning products, as well as beauty and skincare products. For those looking for organic food options, Thrive Market is the ideal choice. Urbankissed is another fantastic eco-friendly alternative to Amazon for clothes.
As for Amazon, the marketplace recently launched Amazon Aware, a new eco-conscious brand featuring certified carbon-neutral products that adhere to their Climate Pledge Friendly program.
Amazon Alternatives: What’s Best For Your Business?
Now let’s overview Amazon Alternatives for Small Businesses!
Create your own online store.
Many sellers put off creating an e-commerce store, thinking that it’s too complex, time-consuming, or expensive. However, it’s none of these things. Although you might opt to sell on marketplaces in conjunction with your online store, establishing your online store is still worth the investment. The higher the percentage of sales generated via your website, the better it is for you as a vendor because you have total control over the platform.
By creating your online store, you’ll have the liberty to establish your brand. You control the look and feel of your website, which distinguishes you from millions of identical product pages on Amazon. When you have a branded online store, customers are more inclined to remember your business, and you can capture their information to build a customer list. Consider this option if you are looking for Alternatives for Your E-Commerce Business.
Use Social Media.
Social media platforms are ideal for promoting your brand, but they can also do much more. With the recent Facebook Shops feature, US-based companies can now sell directly on Facebook and Instagram and tailor their storefronts.
Although it’s easy to sell on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously, if you have to choose one, we’ve highlighted each platform’s strengths and limitations. You can easily integrate social media platforms with your e-commerce store by adding the appropriate app.
Use an alternative marketplace.
If you prefer the marketplace model but aren’t interested in selling on Amazon, there are plenty of other options available. Although few can offer a product range as broad as Amazon’s, many marketplaces specialize in “niche” products that may be of interest to you.
eBay is a platform that’s often associated with consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sales, but it’s also a viable option for businesses. If you’re selling unusual or one-of-a-kind items, eBay’s auction feature can be a real asset. However, because the site is so large and diverse, it can be easy for your products to get lost in the shuffle. To make sure that your items stand out, consider offering free or fast shipping.
ASOS Marketplace, for example, is a UK-based platform that’s perfect for independent fashion brands and vintage boutiques. While ASOS’s primary site isn’t ideal for smaller sellers, ASOS Marketplace is designed to put your items in front of a global audience of 20-somethings. From a buyer’s perspective, the site is user-friendly and visually appealing, and its rules around product photography ensure that items are presented in the best possible light. However, ASOS’s commission of 20% plus a monthly fee of $26 may be a bit steep for some sellers.
Etsy is another popular option, particularly if you’re selling handmade items, art, or homeware. The site’s focus on unique and personalized products means that it’s a great place to showcase your one-of-a-kind offerings. However, the competition on Etsy can be fierce, so it’s important to ensure that your product stands out and that you’re offering competitive shipping prices and excellent customer service.
Finally, Walmart Marketplace is a relatively new player in the e-commerce space, but it’s quickly gaining ground. As one of the world’s largest retailers, Walmart offers a competitive alternative to Amazon. From a seller’s perspective, Walmart Marketplace is attractive because there are no listing fees, and the seller fee is a reasonable 6-20%. From a buyer’s perspective, the site’s two-day free delivery (with an option for two-hour delivery) is a big selling point. Walmart’s clientele tends to be young families with homes, so if your products appeal to this demographic, it may be worth considering Walmart Marketplace as a sales channel.
Starting an e-commerce business in 2023 can be a lucrative venture, but having a winning product and a well-planned promotional strategy is crucial. Fortunately, online marketplaces provide an excellent opportunity to launch your business without the hassle of creating a website and attracting potential customers from scratch. Based on your target audience, product, and budget, you can choose from the various online platforms we reviewed above to find the most suitable option to get your business off the ground.