Amazon is without a doubt the largest e-commerce market in the western hemisphere. With data showing that 55% of all product searches in the USA begin and end on Amazon.com, the platform is the place for e-commerce sellers to be.
However, while Amazon dominates the world of online shopping, they don’t own it. As a seller, you have the opportunity to move beyond Amazon and sell on other platforms like Walmart, Jet.com, Sears, Newegg, and many more.
Diversifying will help you find new markets, new audiences, and sales for products and items that might not do well on Amazon.com. Many platforms have their own audience and themes, which allow them to stand out and offer something unique. As a seller, you can take advantage of this by moving onto platforms that benefit your brand, and where their audiences will be interested in your products.
However, it is equally as important to spend time researching your expansion, so that you can move onto platforms that offer value, expand slowly so that you can limit risks, and ensure that you have the infrastructure and management tools in place to handle new orders, more complex inventory management, and new customer service demands.
Choosing the Best Sales Channels for Your Brand
Most e-commerce platforms cater to a specific audience, which allows them to operate parallel to each other, rather than functioning as direct competitors. For example, eBay uses an auction module to attract customers who want to find products as cheaply as possible. Newegg offers global shipping through their own distribution, allowing you to expand into international markets, or easily sell in the USA if you’re located outside of it. And Jet.com caters to families looking to make bulk purchases to save money. Essentially, every channel has its own priorities, and by finding these and matching them to your brand and products, you can expand onto platforms that offer the most for your business.
Photo by Prosper Insights
When identifying new e-commerce platforms you would like to sell on, it’s important to do market research and pay close attention to the audience, channel policies, and costs to integrate of each channel. For example, if you aren’t capable of shipping out products in 48 hours per Newegg’s terms of service, you might have to change your entire warehousing arrangement to make shipping work for the channel if you can’t afford their distribution service.
In short, you should consider all the costs, including whether you have to make internal changes to meet the needs of the channel.
Marketplaces to Sell on After Amazon
While there are numerous e-commerce channels you can consider for retail, these three options are some of the largest, best opportunities, or typically have similar product demand to Amazon, meaning that your products from Amazon will likely do well.
Walmart and Jet.com are two different platforms, but Walmart purchased Jet in 2016. The Walmart.com demographic consists largely of low- to middle-income younger families, which accounts for one of the largest demographics in the USA. Walmart.com also sees 110 million plus visitors per month, making it one of the larger sites for expansion. The platform makes it incredibly easy to offer customer service, provide a minimal click checkout process, and offer seller analytics, data, and support.
Walmart seller policy states you must accept orders within 15 minutes (you need automation), no personal store branding, and a 15% fee. If you choose to setup on Walmart, you can follow these steps to get started:
- Request an invite
- Make sure that your Amazon feedback is stellar, and that you have an explanation for any bad feedback you may have.
- Apply to be a Walmart seller. Walmart is looking for sellers who fill gaps in their product line, but they do allow sellers to overlap with their own products. Approval typically takes 1-2 weeks.
- Log into the Walmart Partner Portal and start adding your stock. Walmart offers inventory templates, allowing you to easily copy and paste your existing Amazon inventory over to Walmart’s templates and then upload it.
- Add warehouses/fulfilment options
- Start making sales
Jet.com is a slightly different marketplace, catering to primarily families who want to purchase in bulk to save money. This platform can be great, because you can offer deals to sell more with fewer transactions. Jet.com charges a 15% fee on all sales, but does allow you to increase the volume of product per sale. The site is smaller than most of your other options, with just under 4.6 million visitors per month, but the average buyer looks at 3-4 products during each visit.
- Apply as a Jet.com partner/merchant. Have details on your sales volume, products, capacity, etc. ready when you go to apply. Jet.com will manually approve your application after 1-2 weeks.
- Integrate your inventory management API into Jet.com (Jet.com does not have a seller interface). If you don’t have one, you can set it up with a tool like Skubana.
- Upload your inventory from your inventory management platform.
- Manage your products and listings through the Jet.com Partner Portal
While Newegg is largely regarded as a tech hub, the site has moved past its roots in the geek industry and now offers everything from cosmetics to diapers, and (of course) computer parts. Newegg.com is Amazon’s closest competitor, but their customer demographic is mostly made up of tech-savvy men and women between 18 and 35.
Newegg shows that their largest categories are office supplies, consumer electronics, and health and beauty. They also offer a B2B sales portal, allowing you to sell wholesale to other sellers. Plus, with commission rates starting at just 8% in some categories, Newegg has the lowest fees of any marketplace.
Here’s how to get started with Newegg:
- Apply for a seller account on Newegg.com
- Log into the seller portal and set up your account and store.
- Set up a fulfilment center or purchase Shipping by Newegg (SBN). Choose your shipping locations (global, or USA)
- Add your manufacturers
- Add items to your inventory using existing listings or create new ones.
- Start selling.
Newegg requires you to ship items within 48 hours and will cancel sales if you don’t ship within 72. You need strong inventory management and a quality fulfilment system, SBN, or third party logistics to ensure that you can keep up.
Sears.com is the third largest marketplace in the USA, with 15 million unique visitors per month. While one of the smallest on this list, the site still offers access to millions of potential customers, with large sales in apparel, electronics, homeware, sports, jewelry, and toys. Like Amazon, Sears offers advertising, selling, and direct fulfilment through “Fulfilled on Sears”, which includes storage, pick & pack, and customer service.
Fees range from 7 to 20% depending on the the product category, and like Amazon and Walmart, Sears owns the customer and the sale. Clothing retailers can also consider that fashion sales generate roughly 42.7% of Sear’s annual income. Sears also caters primarily to women between the ages of 25 and 54, making it a unique opportunity.
What’s the catch? You’ll have to pay $39.99 per month just to sell on the platform, although the fee will be waived if you don’t earn at least $400 in sales. You can also pay an additional $39.99 per month to have Sears fulfill your orders.
- Apply for a Sears seller account
- List products by downloading the product template, filling it out, and re-uploading it to the Sears Seller Portal.
While Amazon is the largest online marketplace, you can expand onto other platforms affordably by integrating marketplaces that work with your current tools, warehousing, and inventory management. It’s important to handle market research to ensure that your products will sell on the platform. You will also need to integrate stronger logistics and inventory management to ensure that you can handle cross-channel sales.
Expanding from Amazon is a big step, but it can benefit your brand, your store, and your financial security. By researching your options, expanding slowly to control risks, and moving onto channels that offer the most potential for your brand, you ensure that your expansion is as safe and as profitable as possible.
This is a guest post by the Skubana team. Skubana is an all-in-one ERP system and operations platform designed for high volume sellers to run and automate their business. By unifying point solutions in one place, sellers can now diagnose what used to take weeks in seconds. It integrates with most e-commerce marketplaces, 3PLs, and warehouses, provides profitability and multi-channel inventory management, and compiles all of your marketplaces on a single convenient dashboard. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or sign up for a 14-day free trial.
About the author:
Chad Rubin builds e-commerce businesses and is a top 250 Amazon Seller. Fresh out of college and Wall Street, he took his family vacuum business online and built his own direct-to-consumer e-commerce business called Crucial Vacuum. He grew it from 0 a $20 million dollar valuation in just 7 years. He co-founded Skubana with DJ Kunovac as an all-in-one e-commerce operational tool.