E-Commerce is an online marketplace for buying and selling goods of all kinds and as well connects sellers with buyers. It is a platform where sellers can primarily list new and used items such as fashion, clothing, shoes, and accessories. Also for furniture, electronics, vintage, handmade items, art and crafts, toys, books, jewelry, office supplies, personal care products, and more.
There are so many easier ways to get your small business now on an e-commerce website, in as much as you have commercial packages that you want to sell online and don’t have the necessary technical expertise to create your own websites, catalogs, and shopping carts, then you can select from the numerous number of the available ones. The marketplace will handle every step that you need to do to get your products online and sell them.
Each marketplace has its own listing design and fee structure, you must create an account before you can open a storefront. Be sure you understand how much it costs to sell through a particular platform before you begin listing your items. If a specific platform isn’t the right one for what you want to sell, there are many other alternative online marketplaces that you can use.
List of Best Alternative E-Commerce Platform
Every marketplace platform appeals to a different set of customers with different kinds of goods in as much as they are marketable. Below are various alternative online marketplaces to choose from:
AliExpress is a popular online store based in China, owned by Alibaba Group for buying products at much cheaper prices than Amazon and other similar services. It is made up of small businesses in China and other locations, that offer products to international online buyers. It is the most visited e-commerce website that facilitates small businesses to sell to customers all over the world. AliExpress has drawn comparisons to eBay, as sellers are independent and use the platform to offer products to buyers as well as dropshipping.
Sellers on AliExpress can be either companies or individuals but does not sell products directly to consumers. It directly connects Chinese businesses with international buyers as it does not allow customers in mainland China to buy from the platform, though most retailers are Chinese themselves. The website offers a popular affiliate marketing program where partners are rewarded for sending visitors to the site with a commission on sales.
Alibaba is an outstanding online marketing engine for sellers, retailers, and suppliers. It started the business with 18 people and has more than 22000 employees, at present. The marketplace currently claims around 80 percent of online sales in China. Alibaba has one day generated more than $18 billion in revenue in just 24 hours.
Currently, the marketplace has reached out to billions of product buyers all over the world, including manufacturers, businesses, distributors. Pricing is not particular for the sellers and retailers as it is different as per the nature of the products. It is even free for some products and there are also transaction fees and subscriptions in some cases.
As a seller on Alibaba, you open an account for free with access to a huge number of international suppliers that deal in wholesale prices. The platform gives free membership with access to over 7 million page views per month.
Alibaba has various revenue models for different types of sellers, giving them quite a competitive benefit, but sellers new to the marketplace should keep in mind that it can take a long time to rise to the top of the marketplace’s search results.
Shopify is one of those all-in-one packages that anyone can use to set up and operate an online store. You can either use one of their templates or a custom-designed theme for your e-commerce site, and everything is included from getting a domain name through a secure shopping cart so you can accept credit cards and PayPal payments.
If you also have a brick and mortar store as well as a website, Shopify offers an iPad point of sale system that you can use which will automatically sync all your products, inventory, orders, and customers between your e-commerce site and your retail store.
Fees: A Basic plan cost $29 a month with an online credit card rate of 2.9% plus 30 cents online, and there is no product limit. There are no set up fees.
eBay is a virtual marketplace for buying and selling goods of all kinds both new and used. It was established in 1995 and became popular in the early 2000s. Since Amazon is increasing its Prime membership fees, eBay is coming up more in the picture. eBay has been one of the best online marketplace websites. Although it has a presence in 100 countries worldwide and has 23 international sites with 6.7 million sellers in the year 2017 particularly and has been selling products in 190 global markets.
The marketplace gives room for auction capabilities and also offers sellers their own online storefronts. Besides the home page for your store and unlimited product pages, the basic package includes management and promotion tools such as customized e-newsletters and promotional emails and tracking tools.
eBay provides the listed product information on its eBay catalog, sports card accessories, the fashion categories, and many more. It also provides a business efficiency guide, free business consultation, and seller development resources, that have particularly been designed for the merchants who are successfully selling their products.
The expansion of this marketplace gives the businesses access to a set of 168 million active buyers across the world that generate $95 billion of annual gross market value altogether. In this way, the brands get plenty of opportunities to grow and expand within 190 markets around the world. In order to sell the products on eBay, users pay an insertion fee while creating the listing and a final value fee when the item gets sold. There is no set up for any monthly or annual fee for the retailers and marketers. But you won’t have your own URL with an eBay store, instead, you’ll be given a directory URL such as www.stores.ebay.com/yourstorename.
Fees: The Basic is the most inexpensive plan; it offers up to 150 free listings per month for CAD 15.95 a month with a yearly subscription.
Amazon is one of the best e-commerce online marketplaces. It has a marketplace where third-party sellers can list many items, including furnishings, toys, electronics, books, clothing, jewelry, office supplies, personal care products, and more. In fact, it is a marketplace that has millions of Prime Members of its own. The brands while marketing with Amazon, automatically get this set of consumers that spends around $1400 every year while shopping on Amazon.
Prime members are the prioritized members of Amazon. Whether you yourself fulfill or rely on Amazon provided service – FBA (fulfilled by Amazon), making your products available for the prime members could be a big difference to your brand as Amazon provides an individual plan for your brands if you want to start immediately but you would need to apply for the professional plan permission if you are looking to deal in some categorized products.
Amazon has offices at 12 locations in which the popular ones are in the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, and Spain. It is the best option for retailers looking for global exposure.
Fees: Amazon provides the professional selling plan for $39.99 per month with the per-item selling fees that vary by category, plus referral and variable closing fees. The individual selling plan is for $0.99 per sale with selling fees as per each product category.
Bigcommerce is a true turnkey e-commerce solution. Upon registering an account, the platform gives you access to numerous features such as SEO, marketing tools, the ability to provide coupons and product reviews on your website. Another favorite feature about Bigcommerce is that it integrates so quickly with so many other applications, including QuickBooks, MailChimp, Facebook, and Constant Contact.
Fees: A Silver Plan, the most basic choice, is $34.95 a month ($31.45 a month with a yearly subscription). Plus Bigcommerce Payments, if you choose to use it, has a 2.9% USD transaction rate and a 30 cents per transaction charge. Note that if you are not in the States, you won’t be able to use Bigcommerce Payments but will have to set up credit card processing separately.
Etsy is an online buying and selling e-commerce marketplace where vendors can easily connect with buyers, the website focused on a variety of handcrafted or vintage goods and supplies. These items fall under a wide range of categories, including jewelry, bags, clothing, home décor and furniture, toys, art, as well as craft supplies and tools. If you specialized in vintage goods, then it must be over 15 years old.
Listing an item on Etsy costs $0.20 USD and it collects a 3.5% fee on the sale price of whatever you sell. There are no membership fees and the site also offers suggestions for creating a winning product line along with pricing tips. To sell on Etsy, you must create an account before you can open a storefront.
This is another all-in-one e-commerce solution that will provide you with everything you need for selling online, including a shopping cart and credit card processing services. Volusion was founded in Texas and has been in business since 1999. Volusion provides a fully cloud-based eCommerce platform. The company offers all the basic functions needed to operate your own online store, as well as some features that set them apart from their main competitors.
One of Volusion’s outstanding features is the ability to sell on Facebook easily, eBay and Amazon, all integrated with your Volusion store which are built directly into the dashboard.
Also, store owners can quickly gain an overview of which clients are currently completing an order, as well as which clients have abandoned their cart. Volusion encourages you to send emails to the customers who have abandoned their carts, however unlike other platforms that offer this as an automatic process, you need to send these emails manually, and if you have a lot of customers then this can quickly become a rather time-consuming process.
Fees: The most inexpensive plan, the Mini, is $15 a month USD with a 100 product limit and no transaction fees.
Poshmark is a social e-commerce marketplace where people in the United States can buy and sell fashion, including new or used clothing, shoes, and accessories. Sellers can list used, new, or boutique items. The platform connects you to people whose style you adore, allowing you to easily shop closets and boutiques. With over 60 million community members and 100 million items for sale,
Poshmark is a leading social commerce platform for the next generation of retailers and shoppers with a mission to transform commerce by combining the power of people and technology, making shopping and selling simple, social, and fun. The platform handles the financial transaction for you (including paying credit card fees), provide you with a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label, and we will serve as your customer support team for your sale.
Fees: Very simple and straightforward, for all sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95. You keep the rest. For sales of $15 or more, you keep 80% of your sale and Poshmark’s commission is 20%. Once your sale has been delivered and received by your buyer, the earnings from your sale are yours. You can spend your earnings within the app or withdraw your money as cash whenever you like.
Jumia is the number one online shopping site in Africa where you can purchase all your electronics, as well as books, home appliances, kiddies items, fashion items for men, women, and children; cool gadgets, computers, groceries, automobile parts, and more on the go. The marketplace allows you to shop online with great ease as you pay with JumiaPay which guarantees you the safest online shopping payment method, allowing you to make stress free payments. Whatever it is you wish to buy, Jumia offers you all and lots more at prices which you can trust. Jumia has payment options for everyone irrespective of taste, class, and preferences. You also have the option to make your payment on delivery for extra convenience. Shopping online in Africa is easy and convenient with Jumia.
You can as well take part in the deals of the day and discover the best prices on a wide range of products. Also Get affiliated to Jumia with the Jumia affiliate program and you will be on your way to making cool cash from every visitor that makes a purchase through your website. … Make as much as 11% commission on items purchased on Jumia by a visitor from your website.
Magento’s almost all-in-one e-commerce package includes a lot of impressive features. Features include layered browsing for your product catalog which gives customers the ability to filter search, the ability to completely customize your online store’s design if you have the skills and still produce a good looking site if you don’t, and features to drive conversions such as having product comparison and wish lists available to customers.
Magento offers powerful marketing, search engine optimization, and catalog-management tools. But one potential downside is that it is not a turnkey solution; plans don’t include credit card processing. You have to sign up with a credit card processing service separately and then add that service to your account. It’s not that difficult, but it will add costs.
Fees: The basic Get Going plan costs $15 a month USD with a 100 product limit and no transaction fees. Plus the cost of credit card processing.
Yahoo Small Business
Yahoo Small Business (formerly known as Aabaco Small Business) is a service offered by the Yahoo! Mail corporation to get users to start up and expand their business online. This turnkey solution includes a domain name, business email, and website with a customizable shopping cart, credit card/Paypal processing, and tracking and analytics tools.
Fees: A Merchant Starter package is $10.95 UDS a month for the first year ($33.95 a month after that) with a transaction fee of 1.5%. There is no setup fee as of the time of writing.
Mercari is Japanese e-commerce selling app that operates in Japan and the U.S which makes it super easy to sell (or buy) almost anything provided the item can be shipped. Users can buy and sell used and new items including clothing, furniture, electronics, vintage, and handmade items. If you have things you don’t use, never used, or simply outgrew, but which still has value. Mercari gives you the power to simply sell it, ship it, and earn some cash for it.
This app sets itself apart by restricting in-person meetups and requiring that sellers ship the merchandise to buyers. Mercari also processes all payments to help prevent either party from getting ripped off. The platform uses identification verification and reviews to help ensure all parties are fully informed during each transaction.
Fees: Mercari charges a flat 10% sales fee but you may incur other charges.
The fact, that Facebook has over 2 billion active users, creates a huge possibility of broad exposure for brands and products. This social media giant reaches thousands of users every day. Although people sell and buy online using their business or personal pages or via Facebook advertising, the platform now allows online sellers and retailers to do the same from a single place, the Facebook Marketplace.
Creating Facebook Marketplace is altogether a new concept for this social media platform, which is better for the startups that sell products to their own communities, but Facebook is hoping it will make the marketplace get up and going very soon. The marketplace is working on becoming a challenging competitor for all the already established online selling sites.
Facebook Marketplace doesn’t charge the sellers for the listing and gets the products viewed by the members of the local community first. It doesn’t provide any protection for the buyers or the sellers and left all the work up to them from shopping to delivery of the products.
With the benefit of no listing fees, Facebook Marketplace is an attractive option for established or new sellers alike. It provides an easy process for selling of the products that is different for individuals and merchants.
Yola takes a module rather than an all-in-one approach to small business websites; There are different levels of website packages that you purchase and use to build your site and then if you like, you can add an online store to your package for $10 a month. The store includes the ability to manage inventory, accept credit cards, track orders, and sell on your website and through Facebook.
Fees: The Bronze package, with a custom domain, an unlimited number of pages and unlimited bandwidth are $4.17 a month with a yearly subscription, so with the additional $10 for an online store, you could be selling online for $14.17 a month.
Wish is an online marketplace for anything you can imagine. From hair extensions to selfie lighting, and laptops, its inventory seems endless. It’s famous for low price tags on so-called expensive items. However, the products don’t come directly from Wish itself; instead, they’re sold by different sellers. Wish only takes a portion of their profits.
The marketplace has more than 11 million active users. It is great and one of the most popular shopping apps in the world. Wish charges no listing fees for the sellers and provides built-in tools for marketing and promotional purposes. Some major benefits and metrics of the marketplace are:
- Around 75 million active monthly users
- 15% of the item with the shipping’s value makes the seller fees.
- No Monthly Fees
- 9 million pages views per month
This eCommerce marketplace has been so successful that both Amazon and eBay have introduced special sections on their website (eBay’s Less than $10 and Amazon’s $10 or Under) that aim at competing with Wish marketplace’s discount offers and prices.
Start Your E-Commerce Business Today
Besides the fact that all the e-commerce solutions above are relatively inexpensive and designed to be user-friendly to small business owners, they all also offer free trials of two weeks to a month. So no more excuses; pick one of the companies above, dip your toes into e-commerce, and start selling online!
If you want to sell online without using a marketplace. You can also create a business website with integrated shopping, credit card processing, and e-commerce by learning how to build your own WordPress site with WooCommerce plugins which you’ll have total control over, giving you the ability to scale your e-commerce store as your sales and customers grow. Also, your WordPress site will serve as a linking hub to your Etsy store, generating search traffic, and creating another way to drive traffic to your Etsy store to make more money.
Hope you found the post useful and comprehensive!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to share!
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