The evolution of B2C and B2B ecommerce marketplaces and the rising power of connected buying have led to unified buying journeys integrating brick-and-mortar stores and digital channels, all aimed at a single purpose: serving customer needs. Customers are increasingly contributing to the unification of “on” and “off” channels — with 73% preferring to shop through multiple channels.
The events of recent years drove a seismic shift in consumer behavior, with many retailers adapting at lightning speed to respond. And, while some of these adjustments were temporary, many consumer attitudes, behaviors and purchasing habits have transformed for good – and online shopping is evolving as a result. In fact, worldwide retail ecommerce sales are expected to generate more than $6.5 trillion by 2023, accounting for 22% of all global retail sales. But are you familiar with the top online sellers paving the way for the future of ecommerce?
Best ecommerce marketplaces to sell in 2022
In this article, we will walk you through a selection of the most popular and innovative ecommerce marketplaces today and explain their outstanding features. Each one comes with its own set of requirements, so it’s crucial to weigh your options carefully. Whether you want to get started in online commerce or expand your sales in different parts of the world, you should consider the following ecommerce marketplaces:
- Amazon Marketplace
- Rakuten Marketplace
- Global Sources
This company needs no introduction. Initially conceived as an online bookshop, Amazon Marketplace is now a full-fledged worldwide ecommerce platform that brings vendors and buyers together. According to Statista, during the first quarter of 2022, Amazon generated total net sales of $116.44 billion. As one of the most crowded online marketplaces, it’s a competitive selling environment, but also provides valuable revenue-driving opportunities for third-party sellers. After creating an Amazon Seller Central account, merchants gain access to Amazon’s worldwide customer base and can add and list products for sale, manage inventory and fulfill orders.
Price savings: Offers exclusive price discounts, price breaks or quantity discounts and provides access to millions of products.
Payment: Accepts a variety of payment methods such as credit/debit card, pay on delivery, net banking, Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Easy Monthly Installments (EMI).
Reviews: Rewards customers for leaving reviews on products through the Early Reviewer Program. This initiative was designed to help new sellers gain credibility, which will eventually turn into higher sales.
Enhanced product content: Allows professional sellers to present their products in a concise and appealing format via the Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) feature, which can result in higher conversion rates and increased traffic.
Flexibility: Enables sellers to manage inventory and fulfillment themselves via the Amazon Seller Central — or outsource it via the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program.
Founded in 1995, eBay is also one of the pioneers in the ecommerce space. What started as an online auction site is now one of the most popular online shopping platforms in the world with 147 million active buyers as of Q4 2021. eBay is a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) online marketplace where people buy and sell a variety of goods and services. There are multiple business models to choose from, including reselling, dropshipping, private label, liquidation or surplus, wholesaling and deep niche.
Custom categories: Offers sellers the chance to create their own unique eBay Store categories and put items into two store categories at a time at no extra charge.
Advanced search: Enables searches by location, price range, buying format, number of bids, currency of sale and more through eBay’s search box.
Customer support: Provides sellers access to a Seller Dashboard through which the seller performance and customer service can be monitored.
Advertising programs: Allows sellers to choose which items to promote and what percentage of the selling price they are willing to pay in addition to the final value fee.
Payment: Accepts various payment methods including credit/debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, dependable funds, payment upon pickup, eBay gift card or eBay voucher or eBay Bucks.
Dubbed as the “Amazon of Japan,” Rakuten Marketplace was primarily a Japanese marketplace until it acquired Buy.com and started to compete with Amazon and eBay. Rakuten is a multi-category online marketplace and aggregator that receives an average of 268 million visits every week. Technological devices, mobile phones, footwear, apparel, home decor and more are among the product categories.
Personalized storefront: Allows brands to mimic their own website, enabling them to showcase and control their identity and messaging.
Custom product pages: Enables brands to provide rich product content such as detailed product information, images and demo videos.
Customer support: Provides sellers with training and guidance, as well as a dedicated ecommerce consultant (ECC).
Email marketing: Offers R-mail, a newsletter-like tool, allowing sellers to send existing customers updates and offerings.
According to their LinkedIn page, “Global Sources is one of the top B2B platforms in the world, driving authentic trade and providing up-to-date market insights and tailored sourcing solutions.” This platform is specifically designed to cater to customers with fast, reliable and easy trade transactions. With more than 10 million international buyers, the company is a primary facilitator of trade between Asia and the world using English-language media such as trade shows, online marketplaces, magazines and apps.
Verified supplier system: Helps suppliers build a reliable image by running their registration details through independent third parties.
Supplier capability assessment: Enables buyers to audit suppliers based on production facilities, capabilities and product quality.
UI/UX: Facilitates easy navigation with a user-friendly interface and offers convenience with a flexible search engine. Provides insight via a built-in tool to compare suppliers and their products.
In the list of growing online marketplaces is also eWorldTrade. This marketplace offers a wide range of products and services, including sourcing, logistics and payments. One of its unique selling points is that it offers members lists of verified and true buyers, helping B2B businesses and sellers expand and grow their businesses single-handedly. With over 500,000 registered users, the company is committed to providing authentic, fast and innovative trading solutions with new and smart features.
Robust search: Offers a convenient search engine for goods and services, simplified thanks to the search parameters and prices.
Enhanced lead generation: Enables a prominent RFI button to generate/capture quality leads (not available in free listings).
Premium packages: Offers five types of packages - elite, gold, platinum, platinum+ and exclusive member.
Pricing: Provides pricing from the product supplier as soon as the user clicks on the Contact button. They will be immediately contacted by the company’s representatives to discuss further details.
Etsy is a global marketplace for unique and creative goods. The merchants mainly sell handmade or vintage products and craft supplies. Approximately 95 million people used Etsy in 2021 to buy or sell items, according to the company’s 2021 annual investor presentation. This platform requires sellers to pay a listing fee, but the fee can be as low as $0.2/product. Besides, they need to pay a commission for each sale.
Internal analytics: Enables sellers to keep track of orders, revenue, shop visitors and how they reach the site.
SEO options: Helps sellers to increase their online shop's visibility in search engines such as Google or Etsy's own search system.
Customized shipping costs: Offers a variety of different options to set up shipping on sellers’ listings. Sellers can save time by creating shipping profiles and adding shipping upgrades.
App integration: Provides a user-friendly app specifically designed for sellers. It gives access to shop analytics, listings, order and lets users edit shop settings right in the app.
From a mail-order company to a global retailer, the Otto Group is the first European company on the list of the largest ecommerce companies in the world, with online sales revenues of almost €11 billion. Headquartered in Hamburg, this retail giant sells clothing, toys, consumer electronics, homewares and more across 30 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia.
Billing: Offers merchants a “managed payments” service. This reduces the effort for sellers enormously, who would otherwise have to connect and use their own payment service providers.
Customer-oriented services: Enables customers to have their returns package picked up by Hermes via a free callback service.
Product-evaluation feature: Provides a product-assessment algorithm that filters out the most frequently named aspects from the customer reviews.
The future of online shopping
From artificial intelligence to hyper-personalization, brands need to keep up with the rapidly changing ecommerce landscape. Fast-growing trends such as voice shopping, augmented reality and sustainability will fundamentally change how customers shop and inform themselves about products and brands. Numerous online businesses rise and fall, depending on how well they're able to meet customers' needs, wants and desires. Only the ones that keep their finger on the pulse and leverage actionable insights can shape the future of online shopping and remain highly competitive.