If you’re looking to buy something from an online store, there are a few key players in the U.S. market. These include Walmart, eBay, and Amazon. They are the most prominent players in most categories and have been around for over a decade. Amazon started as a small bookseller and has expanded into almost every other type you can imagine, including movies and T.V.
Amazon is the largest eCommerce site in the U.S., surpassing eBay in sales and monthly traffic. In 2016, the site attracted over 2 billion unique visitors. In 2016, the site generated more than $55 billion in sales. Its success may partly be attributed to its recent investments in the marketplace. The site is now home to over 190,000 third-party sellers.
Amazon started as an online bookstore and has since branched out into all types of consumer goods and digital media. It also produces its own electronic devices, including the Kindle eBook reader, the Kindle Fire tablet, and the Fire T.V. streaming media adapter. Today, Amazon is the largest internet retailer in the world and is second only to Alibaba Group in total sales. As a result, it has displaced many brick-and-mortar stores.
The company’s growth has surpassed its competitors in the U.S. and abroad. The company has 164 million active users and more than fifteen million sellers worldwide. Moreover, the site is among the most visited shopping sites in the U.S., with more than 107 million monthly visits. It is also the most popular mobile shopping app in the United States, with a 14 percent mobile audience reach.
Another primary eCommerce site is Etsy, which ranks third in the list of the biggest eCommerce sites in the U.S. With over 238 million visitors from the U.S. and $10.3 billion in GMV worldwide, Etsy sells a range of products, ranging from clothes to craft supplies to vintage items. It allows businesses and individuals to sell their products directly to website visitors.
When it comes to eCommerce sites, user experience is vital. A poor online experience can lead to decreased sales, and even minor inconveniences can make customers unhappy. Users must easily access information and buttons; error messages should be clear. A well-designed website should also be easy to use. Shopping should be fun and easy for customers.
eBay is the second-largest online marketplace after Amazon in the United States, with 689 million monthly visits. Its global gross merchandise volume is estimated to hit $100 billion by 2020, slightly ahead of Amazon. The number of items sold through eBay in the U.S. accounts for $41 billion. Founded in 1995, eBay has embraced a technology-driven business model that has helped it gain popularity in the financial markets.
Like Amazon, eBay offers a range of specialized products. It doesn’t require special permission to sell certain products but does have a list of prohibited items, including food, alcohol, and event tickets. The most popular product categories on eBay are similar to those on Amazon, with electronics and accessories accounting for 16.4% of sales. Clothing and accessories account for 13.8% of sales, while automotive accounts for 10.5%.
Amazon has a larger market share than eBay, with Amazon receiving more than two billion unique monthly visitors, compared to eBay’s 689 million. The difference is mainly because Amazon is a pure-play marketplace, accounting for over 55% of all sales.
eBay has also expanded its business beyond selling items. In 2006, the company launched a Business & Industrial category on the site, allowing businesses to sell surplus items and intangibles. Now, companies like IBM sell their products and services on eBay using competitive auctions.
Despite the massive market share, the two companies remain competitors. Amazon has a higher market share, but eBay has a more diverse customer base. But when it comes to raw market share, eBay has the upper hand. The U.S. market is the largest, and Amazon has a higher percentage of U.S. internet traffic.
While Amazon has a more convenient return policy, eBay is notorious for having a complex one. Its A-Z Guarantee ensures that unhappy customers get a refund if they are unsatisfied with their purchases.
Walmart capitalizes on the consumer’s desire for value and offers fast delivery of the products they want. Today’s consumer is strapped for cash and has difficulty keeping up with the cost of living. Their omnichannel retailing approach is working. Thousands of store locations help them increase delivery speeds and cut costs.
Walmart offers various convenient services, such as a toll-free helpline and a delivery tracking system. The company also processes returns and offers same-day refunds for damaged items. Value for money is a significant reason why two-thirds of customers return to the brand.
Walmart has taken advantage of its retail footprint to expand its online business. It also launched curbside pickup ahead of its competitors. In 2014, Walmart accounted for $1 of every $4 spent on click-and-collect orders. The company also plans to use its existing warehouses to expand its eCommerce business.
While Amazon has become one of the biggest eCommerce sites in the U.S., it lags behind Walmart regarding omnichannel retailing. Amazon has more than 600 retail locations, including Whole Foods, Amazon Books, and Amazon Fresh. While Amazon is quickly catching up with Walmart regarding the number of physical stores, it will take a while before it can match its store network.
Walmart is one of the biggest retailers in the U.S. and employs almost 1.6 million people. The company is the largest private employer in the country and sells more goods than Amazon. However, it is estimated that Amazon will surpass Walmart in the U.S. by the end of next year. In addition to its retail stores, Walmart has a substantial eCommerce presence across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Its online company provides a wide range of electronics, baby, and pharmacy products. Moreover, Walmart has a Walmart-branded credit card that makes shopping easier.
Walmart has 31 fulfillment centers throughout the U.S. This enables the company to reach 80% of the U.S. population with same-day delivery. Furthermore, Walmart aims to attract more third-party sellers. It has a fulfillment service that provides supply chain services for third-party sellers. An Amazon veteran, Jare Buckley-Cox, leads this division.
Etsy is the third-largest by gross merchandise value (GMV) among the U.S.’ top eCommerce sites. The site has over 238 million monthly visitors and $10.3 billion in GMV globally. The site focuses on handmade and vintage items, allowing individuals and small businesses to sell directly to website visitors.
While many people might think that Etsy is an eCommerce platform for artists, it is a marketplace for handmade items. Etsy users sell things from handcrafted jewelry to home décor. But, despite its popularity, Etsy did not plan for the influx of users. Instead, it stretched existing resources too thin.
The user experience is good on Etsy. Its layout is appealing and focuses on showcasing products. However, it does not offer many customization options. It also separates stores from by-products rather than by categories. If you’re an artist who wants to sell your wares on Etsy, you may consider using a third-party distribution service.
Etsy also has recurring fees, which are paid every four months. Although you don’t pay these fees at the time of your account opening, the prices can add up, especially when you have hundreds of listings. If you cannot recoup the costs of these fees, you risk losing money on your Etsy store.
Etsy is a viral website for creative sellers and has millions of buyers. However, there’s a lot of competition on Etsy, so you’ll have to work hard to get your products noticed. Fortunately, the website offers 24/7 phone, email, and live chat support to help you overcome any problems. It also has a community forum for Etsy sellers.
Etsy offers several benefits to sellers, including a low commission rate. The platform also allows you to create coupons and offer postage discounts. Moreover, the site does not charge a monthly fee to maintain your shop. And if you’re a small business owner, you should choose Etsy over Amazon.
While there are a lot of benefits to selling on Etsy, it’s also necessary to understand the costs involved. While Etsy does not require a monthly subscription, it does charge a $0.20 listing fee per item. This fee is paid once your item sells and can increase as your sales increase.