Alternative sales channels to Amazon & eBay

Alternative-Saleschannels-Avasam

As a retailer, you know the importance of getting your sales channels right. Most businesses will start with Amazon and eBay, and maybe a Shopify website, but given the challenges that they present, they aren’t always the most lucrative sales channels. If you’re on the search for new opportunities, then finding alternative sales channels to extend the reach of your business and to reach new customers is a good place to start.

Marketplaces

Marketplaces are where the majority of sales will be made for small and medium retail businesses – until they have established their brand and begun to build that all-important brand loyalty and repeat custom, at least.

Wish

We’ve talked about Wish in depth before, because it is a brilliant marketplace to consider selling on. Wish enjoys phenomenal brand awareness worldwide, and while initially the emphasis was on bargain items from China and other countries worldwide, today Wish offers new and existing businesses with products in the UK a huge amount of opportunity, including sellers that are DropShipping. Since customers have come to know Wish as a place to get a bargain, there may be fewer opportunities for sellers that have mid-range and luxury goods, but as their strategy changes, this is likely to change too.

The amount of potential sales that are possible on Wish is part of the reason that we got together with Wish to create a partnership to help our retailers to sell more. Currently, you can get a massive 10% reduction on fees for three months when you sign up for Wish using our link, and starting to sell products from Avasam suppliers is easy, since our integration is simple to add.

OnBuy

If you’re keen to work with a marketplace that puts retailers first and doesn’t compete with their sellers, as well as paying their fair share of taxes in the UK then OnBuy is a must for your list of sales channels. While OnBuy only launched in 2016, it is one of the fastest growing marketplaces in the world, with brand awareness growing significantly amongst UK customers as they run more advertising campaigns, including during prime-time Saturday night TV shows.

It is precisely because of the opportunities that OnBuy represents for retailers that we created an integration between Avasam and OnBuy. If you’re just getting started selling with OnBuy, then you can see information about how to set up OnBuy in your Avasam account here.

Flipkart

Flipkart is based in India, serving a population of 1.4 billion people. It competes with Amazon and SnapDeal in the Indian market, and controls the Indian eBay site. The Flipkart marketplace is a busy one, with more than 100,000 merchants selling more than 80 million items in 80 categories, but that doesn’t mean that retailers should avoid selling on Flipkart. Customers across India want the best products, at the best process, and so with research, there are plenty of opportunities to identify and to take advantage of.

Wayfair

For businesses that have homewares and furniture, Wayfair can be a great addition to your sales channel strategy. Originally launched as a DropShipping business, Wayfair is now where customers head if they’re looking for quality goods for their home. You can reach customers internationally by selling on Wayfair – there are around 28.8 million active customers, with worldwide sales on Wayfair reaching more than $3.8 billion in 2020.

Tophatter

As a fast-moving online auction website, customers head for Tophatter to find products at bargain prices. Each snap auction is available for a short time, encouraging customers to buy quickly. For retailers, this means that there are considerable opportunities to make sales to customers that want a quick impulse buy – a little treat, perhaps to look forward to. Businesses that are DropShipping can make additional sales, and many businesses focus on just one or two categories when they list on Tophatter to ensure that they make high volumes of sales, with potentially higher returns as bidding increases.

Groupon

Starting out as a daily deal newsletter, Groupon now sells goods across 15 countries, and considering that their annual turnover is in excess of $1.4 billion, there’s a huge amount of potential to make sales through Groupon offers. Rather than being a traditional marketplace, merchants tell Groupon how many items they have, at what price, and then Groupon make sales at their preferred margin, after which they pass the orders back to you for fulfilment. The great thing about Groupon is that they’re not going to compete with you – and you can work with multiple suppliers across different categories. Considering that Groupon started out promoting low priced special offers, it will come as no surprise that you’ll need lower margin products that you can sell at high volumes to succeed on Groupon.

Trade Me

If you can get products to customers in New Zealand easily, then the Trade Me marketplace offers you a massive opportunity to make more sales. In many ways, the marketplace is similar to eBay, offering auction listings alongside buy it now listings, and probably unsurprisingly, it is incredibly well-known amongst the 4.91 million people that live there, and considering that Trade Me allows businesses to have their own store fronts, you can start to increase brand awareness in New Zealand significantly. The great thing is that DropShipping is permitted on Trade Me, as long as your business suits their requirements, and of course, that you abide by their terms and conditions.

Reverb

Are you able to secure musical instruments and equipment that musicians need? If so, then selling on Reverb is for you. As a specialist marketplace – around 85% of their team are musicians themselves – customers head for Reverb for better quality than they can get on other marketplaces. If you have basic, starter instruments, or novelty items, they are better placed on other sales channels.

ShopClues

Another leading marketplace in India, ShopClues has a massive 22 million monthly active users. It has a huge amount of brand awareness, and as such there’s a great amount of trust that has been generated. The marketplace is designed to help retailers to sell more, and you can create a store, helping to you increase the profile of your brand in India. You’ll need to be able to get orders to customers in India within the required timeframe set by ShopClues, but if you can, then this is a good marketplace to add to your sales channel strategy. If you’re DropShipping orders, then ShopClues is a good option in terms of cashflow too, since they release payments from orders inside a week.

Mercado Libre

Primarily serving customers across Latin America and Spain, Mercado Libre is a well-known marketplace with their own payment platform and credit facilities for customers. Brand awareness is incredible, and the company is constantly investing in the markets in which they operate – so there’s huge confidence in the future spending forecast for the region. The biggest challenge with selling on Mercado Libre is of course, getting your products to customers within acceptable timeframes – the UK to Spain may be relatively straightforward enough, but to countries in South America is a whole other ballgame. However, Mercado Libre offer fulfilment centres, allowing retailers to situate stock in the most ideal location to reach customers in the right timescale.

Ozon

Reaching customers across Russia with Ozon means there is huge potential for retailers. If you can sort the logistics of getting orders into the country within 40 days, then it is well worth doing, since selling in Russia can be much more affordable than you might expect. Items less than €200 and that weigh less than 31kg are duty free, and there is no VAT charged on cross-border orders to Russia. DropShipping to customers in Russia can be a challenge (you may need to find local suppliers, or use specialist shipping arrangements) but selling through Ozon isn’t one of the challenges you’ll face. Ozon has English speaking support, and their onboarding team will help you get your products listed without needing to be able to write in Cyrillic – they provide full translation services. The biggest challenge you’ll face is likely to be payments, since cash on delivery is still preferred, and Ozon make payments to sellers in US dollars or Euros monthly.

Spartoo

Spartoo is widely known across Europe as one of the premier fashion marketplaces, with more than 10 million unique visitors every month. As a fashion marketplace, you’ll need mid-range and luxury brand apparel and accessories, but rules about who is allowed to sell on Spartoo are pretty strict, and if you’re DropShipping you’ll need written permission from the brand owner. That is part of Spartoo’s success – customers know how hot they are on counterfeit and fake goods – so don’t imagine you can sell fakes on Spartoo, no matter how accurate the copy is. Spartoo can be a great marketplace to make sales. It might not be the easiest to start selling on, but if you have the right products, and the requisite permission from brand owners, you’re almost certainly going to benefit from selling on Spartoo.

Bol

Bol.com is a European marketplace that sells across the Benelux region, and actually outperforms Amazon in those countries – although we’re sure Amazon are probably tackling that situation! The bol.com marketplace has more than 11 million active customers across the region, and since opening to independent merchants, there are now over 30,000 retailers that sell across a range of categories. While the target market of bol.com is relatively small, the customer base is actually relatively affluent, meaning that there is decent potential to make sales if you have the right products in your inventory. As always, do your research carefully to make the most of selling on bol.com.

Coolshop

Coolshop might have started out selling video games, but today Coolshop has expanded significantly, and encompasses many of the categories that you’d expect to see on other marketplaces. You can reach customers across northern Europe and Scandinavia, and to be successful you’ll need to meet the ‘Magic Five Points’ – to be best on price, service, information, security and selection. Brand awareness for Coolshop is high, with five star feedback in many cases. This is great for retailers, since not only are customers are happy to buy from Coolshop, but the marketplace also offers benefits such as fair rates of commission, tools, a dedicated account manager and so on to help you sell more. And even though there are separate Coolshop marketplaces for different countries, you’ll only need one account, with currency conversion and VAT calculations taken care of.

Privalia

Privalia is a fashion marketplace that operates across Brazil, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. The unique selling point of Privalia is that they have time-bound, flash sale functions that customers love – and that you can make the most of, if you have time to prepare properly, in advance. With over 34 million registered users worldwide, and around 70% of users being women in the lucrative 30-45 age range, if you have high quality apparel and accessories in your inventory then Privalia holds a lot of potential for you as a sales channel.

Fyndiq

Fyndiq is a bargain-driven marketplace based in Sweden. It is incredibly well known amongst the population, and the marketplace gets well over 3.1 million unique visits each month. The aim of the marketplace is to offer ‘small moments of joy’ for their customers, at low prices. It is relatively easy to make sales to customers on Fyndiq, as the majority of Swedish adults are fluent in English – but there is a huge amount of support for merchants that want to sell on the marketplace too. Fyndiq deal with the customer support for you, and since there are no upfront fees to pay to get started, and just a low sales charge and category fee when you’ve made a sale, it is a simple way to reach more customers.

Tanga

Tanga is based in the USA, and like many other marketplaces, started with just one category before expanding. Today, they have served more than two million customers with more than six million orders of daily deals. As a retailer, having your products featured as a featured deal will help you to ensure that you will be successful on the Tanga marketplace. There’s good news for merchants that want to sell on Tanga too – they’re used to working with companies that are DropShipping, and as long as you’re DropShipping from, and can accept returns to an address in the USA, you’re welcome. There are two models that you can choose from in terms of fees and pricing, so you can decide what suits your needs best. To sell with Tanga, you’ll need a US bank account, and payments are made in US dollars.

Linio

If you want to reach more than 163 million customers across four countries in Latin America, then Linio needs to be on your list of sales channels. Customers tend to visit Linio on their mobiles, and the Linio mobile app has had more than 13.9 million downloads to date. Linio support staff are English speaking, and can help you get up and running, but to be successful selling on Linio, you’ll need to be able to speak the local languages, as your product information and listings won’t be translated for you. Your payments will be made in US dollars, and over 14 day payment terms, but you won’t have any monthly fees, and rates of commission are ‘competitive’.

Yatego

Reaching German-speaking customers across Germany, Austria and Switzerland who want products in a wide range of categories doesn’t have to mean Amazon – Yatego is well known across the area. Retailers love selling to shoppers in that area because they are relatively affluent, and known for being dependable, with fewer return and refund requests owing to the reliable postal services in central Europe. You’ll be able to build brand awareness with Yatego too, since you’re able to create your own storefront – which is always a good thing, since customers will search for your website too, where you can create different offers.

Elala

Another marketplace that serves customers in India, Elala has a wide range of categories for you to sell through, with the addition of a handmade category – which is great if your business sells both manufactured and artisanal products. Elala supports sellers – your listings will clearly indicate that you are the seller, and you’ll get a store page on the marketplace as well. You’ll pay a commission, but there isn’t a long term commitment required, so you can stop and start selling as you prefer. The biggest challenge is that customers shopping on Elala are in India – and so you’ll need to ensure that you can ship products to them quickly enough, as well as dealing with currency conversions.

Website solutions

Having your own website is an essential for pretty much every business on the planet – and eCommerce businesses are no exception. While many businesses head straight for Shopify because it offers so much functionality, it isn’t the best solution for all businesses. If you’re looking for a different way to build your website, then you have plenty of options – and these are some of the best.

BigCommerce

We’ve spoken about BigCommerce on the blog before, since our partnership means that you can get up to three months free when you sign up through our link. Combine that offer with Avasam products, your new store will be off to an incredible start. And since we’ve created an integration for BigCommerce, you’ll be able to list your products from Avasam suppliers directly on your BigCommerce store.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the eCommerce website functionality created by WordPress, which powers around 40% of websites on the internet. The fact that so many businesses favour WordPress for their website probably explains why it has around a quarter of the eCommerce software market. WooCommerce is definitely a great way to set up your eCommerce store, and Avasam users can use our integration to create listings and to ensure that they stay updated as stock levels change.

Magento

Magento is the preferred CMS for many bigger retail businesses – it is used by 31.4% of the top 100,000 eCommerce websites – owing to the extensive functionality and flexibility it offers with the plugins and addons that have been created by the huge Magento community. It is based on PHP and is now owned by Adobe, so it is a powerful and dependable solution for your store. However, unless you’re a developer already yourself, Magento may not be the solution that is easy to create or maintain – so if Magento is the right solution then you’re likely to need to add the expense of employing a developer.

OpenCart

Another PHP based solution, OpenCart has a simple setup with plenty of themes, apps and addons to create a high performing website. It is open source, so it is free to use – you’ll just pay for any premium apps. Also, be aware that OpenCart isn’t a pre-made package like BigCommerce and Shopify, so you’ll need to consider hosting costs, and other marketing expenses. There are some more advanced features that you may decide to employ a developer to help you implement, and as your business scales, those apps and addons may end up costing you more than you prefer, so be sure to get do the calculations before you get started.

PrestaShop

A very well established eCommerce website solution, PrestaShop is favoured by many eCommerce businesses as it is free, and easy to install and use. The PrestaShop community provides the majority of support for users, and they have created hundreds of ways to customise your website. However, it isn’t always right for bigger businesses – and so if you’re intending to scale your business significantly, and quickly, then be sure to look at whether it can do everything you need in a year or two.

nopCommerce

nopCommerce is based on asp.net, which is the open source web framework created by Microsoft. As you’d expect, this is a robust store building solution, and since it is open source, it is free to use – although if you want to remove the Powered by nopCommerce tag at the bottom of your website, it’ll cost you a license. It provides an incredibly flexible way to create your website. While setting up your nopCommerce store is relatively easy if you’re a developer and are able to work with asp.net and Microsoft solutions – all the documentation is aimed at developers, rather than those without technical knowledge. That means that if you don’t have the skills, or the budget to employ a developer, then BigCommerce, or Shopify might be a much better way to create your store.

3dcart

Recently rebranded post-acquisition by Shift4 Payments as Shift4Shop, 3dcart is a Microsoft.net based solution to that is easy to create stores with, and has a range of pricing options. Although it is easy to use, you’ll need to subscribe to a more expensive package to access advanced functionality, and there are limited templates available. However, since the takeover, we expect things to improve for Shift4Shop as the company invests further, so if you’re looking after we’ve created this post then it is likely to be worth considering their solution.

X-Cart

X-Cart is self-hosted eCommerce website building software that simplifies setting up online stores, but also has a hosted option available, so you can get the solution that you need – including with multivendor options for businesses that have more than one store. Subscription packages depend on your projected annual revenue, and so you’ll need to make use of the 30-day free trial to ensure it is the right solution before you commit. However, there is expert support available 24/7, so should you run into difficulty you’ll almost certainly get the fix quickly.

Zen Cart

Another free, open source solution, Zen Cart has a huge amount of flexibility to let you create the right solution for your business. Although it is a free solution, it isn’t without cost – you’ll need to source and configure your server for hosting and so on. If you’re not technical though, it might not be the best solution for you (unless you can pay for a developer) as it is known to be complex, and requires developer experience to manage – and the community provides the support, rather than a support team. Since many of those community members are developers themselves, you’ll need to be able to interpret the technical!

Shiprocket 360

Initially launched as Kartrocket, Shiprocket 360 is designed for small and medium businesses to sell more online. The big advantage of Shiprocket is that they don’t just offer website building functionality – they’ve got omnichannel solutions, multivendor solutions and fulfilment services that mean you can get orders to customers across India quickly. In addition, they have built a really strong partnership network, which means you may be able to find support for your business really quickly. Shiprocket is well worth considering if you’re selling across India and worldwide – and while fees are applicable, you’re getting a lot for your money.

Zencommerce

A much smaller website building solution, there are around 5000 businesses that rely on Zencommerce for their online store, but those that do rate it highly – so if you’re looking for something a little different for your website solution, this could be it. There are some great integrations for Zencommerce too, meaning that although having developer skills will definitely be beneficial, you might not need to be a complete pro to benefit from it. As always, make full use of the 14 day free trial before committing.

Can I sell Avasam products on sales channels without integrations?

Of course, these aren’t the only sales channels that you might want to sell Avasam products on – and unfortunately there are too many variables between each for us to realistically create integrations for every single one. However, if you have identified a potentially lucrative sales channel for the items in your inventory, you can still benefit from sales of Avasam products if you have a bit of time.

You’ll need knowledge of how to configure APIs, and you’ll need to transcribe the orders manually or import them as CSV. There is an Export option in the orders page to assist with this, and you can read more here. You’ll need to manually update tracking and dispatch too, so while this is an option, it may not scale to large numbers of orders unless you can use the APIs to create a solution.

A word of caution, however – we can’t promise indemnification for IP complaints or otherwise outside of the channels we specifically integrate to, and that don’t have warnings about. That isn’t necessarily a problem, it simply means that the responsibility to check the channel’s restricted items list is yours, and to ensure that you don’t sell items that could put your business at risk.

If you have knowledge of APIs and you’ve done manual imports and exports before, our documentation should be sufficient to get you started selling on sales channels that we don’t provide support for. However, if you have a question, you can get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

The Takeaway

Many people assume that being on the biggest marketplaces and sales channels is the best approach – because more customers on those channels mean more chances of sales. But when you’re tackling sales channels and figuring out the right ones for your business, it is rarely as simple as Amazon + eBay + website = done, and with so many other opportunities to take advantage of, why restrict yourself to the busiest marketplaces? By diversifying your sales channels, you’ll be able to reach more customers, make more potential sales, and if there’s a problem with your seller account for any reason, orders won’t stop rolling in completely.

Our recommendation is to sell on a mixture of sales channels, and if Avasam is your primary source of products, then starting out with the sales channels we have integrated will make it simpler. Our special offers with our partners Wish and BigCommerce are the ideal place to get you started, but you can also choose from Shopify and WooCommerce if you’re looking for a website builder, as well as Amazon and eBay, of course.

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Dawn Matthews
Dawn has worked in technical and customer supporting roles for over 20 years. Most of her career was spent in technical services at top rated UK universities, which has given her a keen eye for detail. A lucky escape led her to the field of eCommerce in 2017, and she’s never looked back.Dawn studied in the field of social sciences with the Open University, achieving an MSc in Forensic Psychology at the same time as working two jobs. She regularly applies principles of psychology from her studies to her work, and outside of her role at Avasam she is busy writing her second book.Follow Dawn on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dawn-matthews

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