This article has been updated, please find the newest version here: Top 5 Online Marketplaces in the US.
The USA has one of the most established ecommerce markets worldwide, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In 2016, it is ranked as the second largest online market globally, standing at an estimated at $385bn, and is expected to grow further reaching an impressive $482bn by 2018.
With the US ecommerce market remaining an attractive sales outlet to retailers throughout the globe, we take a look at the top 12 marketplaces you should consider selling on when expanding into the USA.
eBay is the marketplace that currently dominates the US ecommerce market. Founded back in 1995, today, eBay.com enjoys over 122 million unique visitors and accounts for 41% of the value of all goods sold on its global marketplaces.
You can either sell directly on the US site, engaging in active cross-border trade, or test the market by offering delivery to US customers from your current eBay account, known as passive cross-border trade.
Together with eBay, Amazon.com is the most popular marketplace in the US, enjoying over 175 million unique monthly visitors. Using a catalogue format, Amazon offers more than 365 million products for sale across a variety of categories.
By selling on Amazon, you gain from the company’s years of ecommerce experience and established reputation, while also benefitting from Amazon’s fulfilment support (FBA), and accessing Amazon’s millions of Prime customers.
Having started as a brick-and-mortar store, Sears is now also one of the most popular online marketplaces in the US. Launched in 2009, the marketplace offers a wide product variety, ranging from apparel, electronics, homeware, sports, jewellery and toys.
Sears.com offers three different services to third-party sellers: ‘Advertise on Sears’, ‘Sell on Sears’ and ‘Supply Through Sears’. They also offer ‘Fulfilled on Sears’, which provides storage, pick & pack, and customer service for all merchants.
Having started as a marketplace specialising in IT products, Newegg now has over 700 sellers on its site, and offers a wide range of products, from clothing and sporting goods, to automotive and industrial products.
Newegg is focused on partnering with industry-leading retailers, seasonal sellers and overseas companies keen to sell into the US. It also provides its merchants with fulfilment and marketing support, offering ‘Shipped by Newegg’ option and free marketing tools.
Part of a global network of Japanese-owned marketplaces, with sites in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, Rakuten is one of the biggest ecommerce companies in the world. Originally specialising in computers and electronics, today, the marketplace offers over 17 million products, ranging from health & beauty, sporting goods, home & garden, toys and jewellery.
When selling on Rakuten, merchants are not competing with the platform, as the marketplace doesn’t have its own inventory, and they are also allowed to create their own branded storefronts within the platform.
Launched in July 2015, Jet is one of the newest marketplaces on the US ecommerce landscape, but it already has an estimated 1,200 sellers on board.
Similar to Amazon, Jet has a dynamic pricing engine that determines which retailer can offer the best economic outcome for shoppers, considering a combination of factors — from product mix and location, to order size and shipping distance. The retailer, who provides the best value for customers, wins the order.
Jet offers only branded products and could be particularly attractive for larger companies, who offer a broad range of products and sophisticated inventory data.
Launched in 2005, Etsy is a peer-to-peer ecommerce website focused on selling hand-made or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. These items cover a wide range, including art, photography, clothing, jewellery, food, bath and beauty products, toys, and many others.
Etsy has more than 54 million registered members, and the online marketplace for hand-made and vintage goods has already connected more than 1.4 million active sellers to over 19.8 million active buyers.
Ruby Lane is the world’s largest curated marketplace for antiques, vintage collectibles, vintage fashion, fine art and jewellery sold at fixed prices.
Launched in 1988, today, Ruby Lane is home to 2,500 active shop owners who sell over $125,000 worth of merchandise daily. The marketplace enjoys over 1 million visitors every month and lists more than 528,000 items.
Before launching, each Ruby Lane shop is pre-screened by an in-house team of art and antiques professionals that ensure it meets the specific standards required by the marketplace.
Bonanza is an online marketplace that enables its merchants to sell everything from antiques to electronics. Bonanza is similar to eBay, but its focus is on unique items, offering products that are similar to those that may be found at a street fair.
Bonanza has more than 300,000 registered users and offers over 3.4 million items for sale.
The site is very user-friendly, allowing merchants to build on its inventory by importing items from other online storefronts, such as eBay, and it also offers “freebies”, in which sellers agree to give away items with purchases over a certain amount.
eCRATER is an online marketplace, which was launched in 2004. Its marketplace offers the products of all registered sellers in one place, while the web store builder allows sellers to have their own custom online store.
eCRATER has more than 70,000 active stores, all listings are “fixed price” and buyers can add products from several sellers into their shopping cart, buying them in one single order.
eBid is an online auction website that was founded in 1998. It is open to sellers in 23 countries, while listing to buyers in over 100 countries.
eBid offers more them 3.9 million items, across 14,000 categories, and at any point of time it has over €3.2bn in cross listing value.
Founded in 1995 in San Francisco, Craigslist is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, items wanted services, community, résumés, and discussion forums. Craigslist started expanding into other US cities in 2000, and now it covers 70 countries worldwide.
The site serves more than 20 billion page views per month and enjoys over 50 million unique monthly visitors, putting it in 37th place among websites worldwide and in 10th place among websites in the US.
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