With a net worth of $1.7 trillion, Amazon has dominated the e-commerce sector for years, leaving many of its competitors in the shade. But are there alternatives to Amazon?
With an audience as vast as Amazon, small business start-ups and solo entrepreneurs flock to the site to sell the products, get established, and build their enterprises. Despite the audience Amazon offers, you may want to look for other online venues to list your items.
There are many good reasons to broaden your e-commerce horizons.
First, it makes little sense to put all your eggs in one basket. Second, selling on a wider range of marketplaces gets your products in front of a larger audience. And finally, looking at the other choices available could save you money on fees, or get you closer to your target buyers.
Below are some viable alternatives to Amazon. We’ll look at their advantages, their fee structures, and what makes them different.
Why You Should Use an Alternative to Amazon for Your E-commerce Business
We already touched on one of the main reasons to seek other venues: the perils of depending on one sales platform.
It’s not unheard of for sellers to have their accounts blocked. If you haven’t already established yourself on one of the alternatives to Amazon, your business could tank.
However, by setting up multiple accounts with different marketplaces, you’ve got greater flexibility if things go wrong. Plus, you can use other online platforms to test out which ones are the best for your products.
And there are other benefits in finding additional marketplaces, like:
All e-commerce sales platforms have some measure of control over your business. They determine:
What products you can list
The terms and conditions of doing business
Your payment options
These terms might not be suitable for your business. So, If you’re looking for greater flexibility, then seeking alternatives to Amazon is a good idea.
Better Customer and Vendor Support
Perhaps you feel the vendor or customer support is lacking. Amazon provides useful resources for sellers, like its university. But some sellers feel seller support is sometimes thin, especially when things go wrong.
More Shipping Options and Lower Fees With Some Amazon Alternatives
Amazon has changed its fee structure over the years, bringing frustration to some.
Amazon sets its professional selling plan at $39.99, with individual plans available free. And referral fees differ, depending on which category you’re selling in.
Shipping is a further reason to consider seeking alternatives as individual sellers on Amazon lack flexibility over their shipping costs.
If you’re looking to cut fees or branch out, then signing with some alternatives to Amazon may allow you to further scale your business while reducing costs.
Amazon Alternative Payment Choices
If you’re a seller on Amazon, you’ll know it makes payment via ACH or electronic funds transfer. Amazon distributes these payments to your bank account every two weeks, and they can take up to five days to clear.
But that doesn’t always work for everyone. If you’re a small business and cash is tight, signing up to e-commerce platforms with a broader range of payment options can improve your cash flow.
What to Look for in an Amazon Alternative
Before you search for alternatives to Amazon, you need to decide what you want from your business. You’ll need to consider the products you’re selling and your target customer, too.
For example, if you’re selling printable products, Etsy could be an excellent choice. Or, if you’re looking for consumers who understand tech, you may find Newegg works well for you.
Other areas you’ll want to think about include:
Ease of Use
Marketplaces that allow you to add items efficiently mean you can list more products in less time. But you’ll want to view any alternatives to Amazon from your customer’s perspective too.
When researching new platforms, perhaps test them out for yourself and consider areas like:
Ease of checkout
Think about your ideal consumer and the type of users the platform attracts. For example, eBay is huge, with 182 million active buyers. It’s great for snapping up limited-time deals, brand name products, and pre-loved items.
However, it’s not always the first place shoppers think of when looking for handmade goods or unique items. They’re more likely to head somewhere like Etsy.
Fees can take a considerable chunk of your profits if you’re not careful. Depending on the fee structure, some sites may not be suitable if you’re selling smaller, lower value items.
If you need some help in this area, fee calculators are helpful. Here’s a list of the well-known ones.
Best Alternatives to Amazon for E-commerce
What are some of the best Amazon alternatives when you’re looking to sell your products online? Let’s look at some of the top options, in no particular order.
Established in 2007, Bonanza has built itself a loyal following, with a vast range of categories. Sign up is free, and fees are straight forward. Final offer value fees are 3.5 percent for sales under $500. Sales over $500 attract an additional 1.5 percent fee.
Although it’s much smaller than Amazon, Bonanza has some advantages over its larger rival. They include a greater emphasis on building customer relationships and developing a sustainable business through repeat customers.
Equally appealing to sellers is the marketing tools Bonanza provides. These give you access to valuable data about product performance, allowing you to spot trends, optimize listings, and better market your items.
Other features include:
Automatic syncing with eBay, Amazon, and Shopify
Customized marketing tools
Image editing tools
High level of customer support.
But what makes Bonanza stand out is its focus on unique items. It’s not trying to be another Amazon. As Bonanza puts it, it’s a site where you’ll find “everything but the ordinary”.
One of the most prominent alternatives to Amazon is eBay. Like Amazon, eBay has made considerable changes since its launch back in 1995. Over the years, eBay’s focus has moved away from the collectibles market it used to cater to, and it’s now more product-based.
Many famous brands like Rolex, Hasbro, and Microsoft make their goods available viaebay.com brand outlet site, enabling consumers to bag a bargain. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a place for more unusual or collectible items.
On eBay, listing fees and final value fees vary, but it sets many of its final value fees at 10 percent or less. If you need to calculate fees before listing,use an eBay fee calculator.
Some advantages of selling on eBay are:
A more comprehensive range of categories
More payment options for shoppers, like a credit/debit card, PayPal, and local collection. Sellers can also accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, and gift cards through managed payments.
Improved branding through eBay stores and marketing materials
What makes eBay stand out, though, is its auctions. Auctions may not be ideal for every business. However, sellers who specialize in collectible or rare items may find the bidding pushes their final sales price up higher than they could’ve imagined.
If your business primarily sells printable products or art and craft items, then Etsy might be for you. Of the many alternatives to Amazon, Etsy has perhaps one of the most affordable and straightforward pricing approaches.
Each listing costs just 20 cents, and the listing is good for four months. Then there’s a five percent transaction fee for goods that sell. Payment processing fees are variable and depend on location. If you want to grow your business further, Etsy Plus is available at $10 a month.
Re-listing is simple, too. Just select the auto-renew option, and there shouldn’t be anything else to do on your part.
Advantages of selling on Etsy are:
Greater customization over how your store looks
Ideal for beginners
Sellers can list collectibles and vintage items on Etsy
That’s the advantages, but there are a couple of possible disadvantages worth mentioning. First, Etsy is much smaller than Amazon, which means there’s intense competition, so your products need to stand out.
Second, although fees are cheaper, you may make more sales on Amazon Handmade because of its larger audience share.
Amazon dominates e-commerce, but Walmart is gaining ground. Recent sales figures show Walmart’s e-commerce sales have soared by 74 percent. This stat means if you’re looking for alternatives to Amazon, Walmart could be promising.
Like Amazon, Walmart now offers a fulfillment service. Although storage and fulfillment fees apply, Walmart’s fee structure is less complicated than Fulfillment by Amazon, and referral fees are competitive.
In addition, with Walmart’s marketplace, there’s no start-up or ongoing monthly fees. However, you’ll want to factor in other costs, like unique product codes (UPCs).
Newegg has gained a reputation as the top global tech marketplace online. But it also sells apparel, home and lifestyle products, sports/health-related items, TVs, and plenty more.
As for fees, non-elite membership is free. Elite membership has two tiers ranging from $29.95-$99.95 a month. Commissions vary, with the highest being 12 percent.
Advantages of selling on Newegg include:
Can be cheaper for tech products
Attracts tech buyers who are knowledgeable about products
The Newegg search engine makes finding electronics and components quicker
Customized marketing for businesses
Various payment choices for sellers including weekly ACH payments, PayPal, Wire Transfer, PingPong, Payoneer, and World First
A wide range of payments for buyers, including PayPal and BitPay
But it’s the multi-channel fulfillment option that may interest sellers the most. If you’re selling from various platforms, Newegg provides a central point to manage all your orders.
When you sell on a third-party platform, you have limited control. Many online sellers favor setting up their stores the Shopify platform.
The site offers new sellers a 14-day free trial to get them started. After that, a basic Shopify store will cost you $29 a month. Online credit card rates are 2.9 percent + 30 cents. And you should find it easy enough to start selling.
Once you’ve signed up for the free trial, the next steps are to:
Set shipping details
Customize pages for search engines using keywords
Create main pages
The benefits of Shopify include:
Highly-rated customer support and selling features
Large range of e-commerce tools and apps
Access to the e-commerce university
You can accept a large range of currencies
There are a variety of reasons you might be looking for alternatives to Amazon. Maybe you want a platform that provides a wider range of payment options, a site that’s more niche, or you just want a more extensive selection of online marketplaces to sell your wares.
As you can see, there are many venues available, and they all have their advantages. Sites like Bonanza have established a loyal audience, and Walmart’s e-commerce presence is growing strong.
Niche sites such as Etsy and Newegg are ideal for specialist items, and eBay offers greater customization and various selling methods, including auctions.
Did you know, why do you mostly prefer videos over plain texts? Because the human brain processes videos 60000X faster than plain text. Hence, videos have increasingly become the perfect solution in improving e-commerce conversion rates and creating brand awareness.
The average e-commerce conversion rate 2018, through desktop is 3.83%. This figure is a bit lower in mobile with 2.03%. If you own an eCommerce site and intend to boost your sales conversion, you must be trying your hands in every possible device. Leveraging the power of product video on your homepage happens to be an integral part of that strategy. Once you garner leads, channeling them to the sales funnel is what comes next.
With videos strategically placed on the homepage, inside services pages or on the product pages, customers automatically develop a sense of confidence upon you. And there starts the actual conversion! These are some of the e-commerce benchmarks to augment the lead conversion rate.
So why are videos so effective?
The average b2b lead conversion rate for a novice eCommerce site would be 1% to 2%. This is 8% to 9% for big eCommerce enterprises. With videos, this figure can increase 6X. If your eCommerce website homepage has a professionally created video about your services and the benefits, it establishes you as an industry expert.
Once you attain that stature, it becomes easy to goad your prospects towards purchase. Videos are that marketing force hard to ignore. Bland commercials and lousy sales pitch are no more trump cards of businesses. Smart entrepreneurs have understood that videos have come of age now and must be utilized wisely.
Shareability – Videos are shared 12X more than texts and links on Facebook. On YouTube, social actions are taken by 100 Million users every week. That said, videos have enough power to make people click on them and share them.
Google Page Rank – Videos generate quality backlinks and increase the time people spend on your website. That helps in boosting your SEO. Google is always focused on helping searchers find the best answer to their questions. And if your video has that answer, then your eCommerce site will see itself high on the SERPs.
More Clear and Concise Communication – Did you know? A 30-second video is equivalent to half a page text. So no matter how complex your product or service is, you can swiftly communicate and explain it through a well-created video. The more you come up with clear communication, the higher your e-commerce conversion rates amplify.
It takes less effort to watch videos – Videos work great where understanding things are involved. A survey by WeCapture says, 59% of corporate executives prefer videos over texts while grasping data.
You can instill faith and trust in your prospects – Your eCommerce site does have a myriad of people working behind the curtain. In your “Meet The Team” page, if there’s a video that shows all of the faces who are continually working on the site, that not only boosts your prospects’ confidence. But also gives them an idea of your work culture and values.
You can address their concerns – When prospects see a brand or a product, there come several questions in their minds that need to be clarified. Understanding the product through a video gives answers to those questions and transform your conversion rate.
User-Generated Video Content – Seeing real people benefited by your product/service has its reward. Including such UGC in the key stages of the sales funnel can reduce drop-offs to a great extent and transform your conversion rate. Because user-generated contents contain more weight than something coming from you.
Create and Leverage Instructional Videos – This is another step in boosting user-experience. Suppose your product is a Smart TV. Now if you create a video that clearly explains how to set up the device, that’s a great relief for your users/customers. The more they are fed with instructions that make their lives easy, the lesser is the chance of them moving on to your competitors.
Also, it is likely they will intend to buy other accessories from your eCommerce site.
So, How would You Use Videos for your eCommerce website?
Put together your landing page with a video
Your prospects need to connect with you. And landing pages with relevant images and videos connect with them faster. Using videos on landing pages can take your conversion rate to the higher side just because they can evoke the desired response among your traffic.
Know your previous year’s sales conversion rate statistics and find out where you can leverage video contents.
On your Homepage
Just as mentioned earlier, homepages that have videos have a higher rate of lead conversion. Why? Because of the fact (true fact rather) that videos build trust with the audience. Your homepage is the first thing that your traffic would see. And if there’s a thumbnail of a happy smiling face, people are likely to click on it.
A 60 seconds video delivers your core message as well as why you stand out from the others in the industry. There you go! Give a short description of your brand and how you can add value to your customers, and have been doing it since, say, 1990? 🙂
Send Personalized Videos to your Prospects
If you get no luck in reviving the dead leads, have already tried cold emails and cold calls to death, try sending video voice mails to your leads. Not only these create a more personalized sales experience, but it makes your prospects feel that you genuinely care for them. They open up and discuss things more freely.
Thus it becomes easier for you to take them towards the end of the sales funnel.
On your Product Page
While making a purchase, 90% of buyers find it useful if there’s a supporting video. And 64% of users opine that they are more likely to buy a product only after viewing a video. That said, your primary target would be to include engaging videos in your product pages.
When images are not enough, videos save the day by giving your prospects a real feeling. It doesn’t really matter whether they watch the videos till the end or stop midway, but the very existence of product videos will amplify the conversions.
Include Videos that explains your benefits better
The best way to appear neutral and less ‘salesy’ is to just to showcase your benefits to your prospects. They will decide for themselves whether to tune you out or stick to you. So make sure you have videos that talk and explains about your benefits and how they can add value to your buyers.
There’s something called ‘Social Proof’ that 90% of buyers rely upon while making a purchase decision. And smart business persons know that the most original sales message come from happy and satisfied customers. So when your prospective buyers get to see such satisfied customers benefited by your product, their trust quotient increases.
This type of videos is more apt for brands that sell products and not services. This is a straightforward way to showcase with step by step guidance, how one would use your product. Surely enough when their concerns and questions are addressed, they would be happy to try your product.
Post Videos on Social Media Profiles
Social media channels can be big-time lead catchers considering how powerful they are now. They are not only great tools to reach the masses, but also to convert the followers into paying customers. And your social media conversion rate will significantly rise as you upload more and more shareable videos.
Encourage Surveys through Videos
Customer feedback/reviews are the primal elements expected by all marketers. Conduct surveys and ask for feedback from your customers. You may appear in the videos yourself and ask for feedback on the areas you can further improve. Halfway, questions can come up onscreen that the audience has to answer to further watch the video.
Wrapping Things Up!
So all that said, video marketing happens to be the most lucrative yet cost-effective strategy to enhance conversion and create a sustainable brand image. Marketers and business development managers are under continuous pressure to come up with innovative ideas to generate more leads and conversions. Yet in a less pricey way. In this scenario, video contents have the highest ROI.
We offer professionally created Animated Explainer/Promotional videos for all kinds of business that encourage prospective buyers to make a purchase, bring repeat clients and boost your e-commerce conversion rates. If you are interested in how video contents can further help in raising your online conversions, feel free to get in touch.
And if you have anything else to add, please share your comment in the comment section below.
This case study outlines the exact link building steps we took in order to increase traffic and subsequently take our clients e-commerce site from £0 to over £11,000+ per month in revenue.
The site is in the food niche and the profit margins are high.
You’ve probably read a lot about SEO and link building.
Whitehat, Blackhat, Greyhat, anchor text distribution yada yada.
Much of what you have read has most likely been conflicting, which may have left you a little confused as to the best way to get backlinks to your website.
The truth is there is no one size fits all strategy. Every industry and campaign is different and the way you go about obtaining backlinks should reflect this.
How Do I Find Out The Best Backlinking Strategy For My Industry?
The simple answer is to find out what your top-ranked competitors are doing.
If you aren’t sure who your main competitors are, it’s probably a good time to find out.
A simple search for your main keywords in Google will provide you with the answer and from there you can start analysing the sites and find out exactly what they are up to.
Let’s take two examples in two very different niches, to confirm the point there really is no one size fits all link building strategy.
Niche Example 1
The games niche is huge, tens of thousands of terms, many huge search figures.
If we take the game Happy Wheels and do a quick search for some keywords we can see some decent search figures:
If we search “happy wheels unblocked” in Google we can see the search results dominated by Google, Weebly and Wix sub domain sites, which is interesting if you were looking for good niches to do some parasite SEO.
If we take the first standalone domain we can see US organic search figures at 11.8k (mobile) and 6.7k (desktop) – which is only a conservative monthly estimation of the traffic.
Although not that relevant to this case study, SEMRUSH also provides data on the top organic keywords bringing in the traffic to the site, which is useful information for the keyword research phase:
Either way, the data reflects there is money to be made here.
The next step is to put the domain through Majestic or Ahrefs. I use Majestic, it’s just a matter of choice.
The overview reflects happy wheels related keywords would not be easy to rank for with a brand new domain:
The anchor text distribution is interesting:
31% for “happy wheels”, which probably contradicts a lot of what you have read and reiterates the point that every industry is different, including the amount of times you should use your main keyword as your anchor text in order to rank highly without getting penalised.
The backlinks to the site also contradict what could be described as “quality” “relevant” and within “Google’s guidelines”.
Spam blog comments from a Muslim related domain?!:
Sitewide links from several cloned websites, most likely some kind of PBN:
Analysis tells us blackhat techniques are most definitely working in this niche.
Niche Example 2
Let’s take our second example a food sub-niche and similar to our clients.
“organic food delivery” receives over 6,000 searches per month and will be highly lucrative:
If we run the site ranking number 1 in the UK for that term through Majestic the overview indicates a very strong domain:
The anchor text distribution looks a lot different from the happy wheels URL, indicating a far cleaner, more natural link building campaign:
Analysis of the links indicates relationship building, free giveaways and high-end directory submission.
As you can see two very different methods to reaching the top in two very different niches.
If you are going to use any blackhat techniques on a client site, the only rule is they know exactly what you are doing, agree to it, are fully aware of the risks and you have a strategy in place in case things go wrong (which thankfully doesn’t happen often).
SEO Strategy Used That Helped Generate £11,000+ In Monthly Revenue
Offering discounts to organizations is a great way to build links and also to generate some direct sales.
In terms of our client site we were able to obtain several links from highly authoritative sites, including some .edu domains using this method:
It’s a pretty simple tactic in which you approach organisations which offer their members discounts and pitch your own discount on the products or services you sell.
It’s always best to target organizations whose members will likely be interested in your products.
To find opportunities you could enter the following search strings in Google:
Once you have found some good sites that have provided reviews, reverse engineer those websites to uncover further opportunities.
Sponsored posts are much like guest posts, except you pay for the privilege of posting your content on someone else site.
While in an ideal world we would have titled this section “Guest Post” and published our content for free, you will often find this isn’t a viable option for commercial businesses.
While many bloggers in the food niche, were more than happy to accept guest posts from their fellow bloggers, they were a bit more reluctant to allow us to publish our content without receiving some cash first!
Much like the free giveaway tactic, be prepared to do some analysis on the site you are thinking of publishing on.
To find opportunities you could enter the following search strings in Google using either “guest” or “sponsored”:
keyword + “guest blog”
keyword + “guest blogger”
keyword + “guest article”
Keyword + “guest post”
Keyword + “guest author”
Keyword + “write for me”
Keyword + “become a contributor”
Keyword + “contribute to this site”
Keyword + inurl:contributions
Keyword + “become a contributor” + inanchor:contact
keyword + “contribute to this site + inanchor:contact
keyword + “guest blog” + inanchor:contact
We also found good opportunities on Twitter by searching for “keyword + sponsored post”
Backlinks from Directories
While many of the low quality, spammed directories got targeted by Google a few years ago and were de-indexed, directory link building is an easy and solid way to obtain quality links.
We prefer to submit to industry-specific directories and also pay for the privilege, which normally costs between $20 – $100.
While a paid directory normally indicates it is going to be of a higher quality, we still check the metrics and also look for opportunities that represent a little more than a directory.
In order to find directories to submit your site to, you could enter the following search strings in Google:
industry keyword + submit URL
industry keyword + submit site
industry keyword + directory
Turning Brand Mentions Into Links
Turning non-linked mentions of your business is an easy and effective way to obtain some links.
This link building method worked for us because our client was reasonably well known for the bricks and mortar side of the business.
It’s important to note that if you are a brand new e-commerce company it’s highly unlikely you will be able to find any mentions of your business.
In order to find mentions you could use BuzzSumo or Mention, both tools will provide you with notifications of when your brand is mentioned.
After you receive notification head over to the page, if you have already been provided with a link, your work is done, if there is no link visible then reach out with an email similar to this:
Hopefully, you found this guide useful and can use some of the techniques mentioned to build links to your own website.
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