Amazon was launched by CEO Jeff Bezos in the year 1994 out of Seattle, Washington, as an e-commerce website. It has nearly $232 billion in net sales every year and thus remains one of the most prominent online stores these days.
Forbes reported in May that Amazon had already surpassed Walmart and become the world’s largest retailer. When it comes to competition, most e-commerce stores realize that they are now dealing with Amazon.
The industry and company size is immaterial. If you are selling online products, then you are competing against Amazon. They deal in all kinds of products, including a pre-built tiny home on the platform.
In the US itself, Amazon has around 45% of the e-commerce market share. That is a rise from 34% in 2016 and hopefully will cross 50% in 2021. This means that Amazon is not going to slow down in recent times, at least.
Whatever be the size, Amazon still has many competitors. Netflix, the streaming service, competes against Amazon Prime video. Google Home products act as the competitor of Amazon’s Alexa. In cloud computing, Amazon Web services have competition from Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
And this is only in the technology arena. There are many B2B and B2C eCommerce stores that are fighting against Amazon and succeeding in the same.
Here we have found out Amazon competitors to show how these websites are trying to succeed. We are going to tell how other e-commerce stores can compete with Amazon. Let us read further.
Top Ecommerce Competitors For Amazon
So, who is Amazon competing with? You will be surprised to see that from small and niche websites to retail business giants, Amazon has enough competitors to worry about.
1. Niche Ecommerce Stores
When Amazon was first launched in 1994, the company started with selling books online. Yet today, the company is not focused on just one niche. They now sell everything, thus standing up against many websites.
Some of the customers like buying only from niche brands, stores, and manufacturers.
Amazon is good at what they are trying to do. But if we talk about quality and knowledge, they are no stand against small niche shops which are experts in their industry. Some examples of such products are beard oil, CBD for pets and vegan cosmetics, etc. Consumers would want to buy products directly from a company specializing in that field.
Moreover, 66% of the shoppers and 73% of the Millions say that they have no problems in spending more on sustainability. These niche commerce sites may charge extra for such products.
Walmart is a global giant, as we all know. This department store has a revenue of $514.41 billion annually.
This is twice more than double of Amazon. Though Walmart’s sales primarily come from brick and mortar retail purchases.
There are nearly 11,000 Walmart physical stores in 27 countries around the world. Walmart is known for its physical department stores, but it still has a considerable presence online.
Walmart’s worldwide presence and solid customer base will ensure that it remains a substantial competition to Amazon. Walmart’s sales are also growing by 40% every year. At its speed, you can expect Walmart to snatch more business from Amazon in the future.
3. Alibaba / AliExpress
Alibaba is an online retailer that is based out of China. The big deals in wholesale sales make it different from Amazon. Another difference between Amazon and Alibaba is the business model they operate on. Amazon is running under one roof, while Alibaba is divided into three businesses.
Alibaba is B2B focused. The other two branches deal with B2C and multinational brands. In June 2019, there were 755 million Alibaba users. This company manages around 58% of online retail sales in China itself.
Alibaba sold $30.8 billion items as of 13th November 2018. This day is the Chinese version of Black Friday.
Having an international presence, a formidable market share in China, and substantial B2B sales, Alibaba is relatively strong. Plus, if a website can earn $30 billion per day, it can easily defeat Amazon.
Otto is an Online retailer from Europe. This company is known for its innovative practices that help it to match up with the times. Overall, Otto is a trading company which means that it sells other brands’ products on its e-commerce platform.
You can call Otto one-stop-shop where you can buy anything. Some of the top categories you can find here are electronics, fashion, sports, and home goods. A prominent reason why Otto is famous is thanks to the exceptionally user-friendly interface. It is easy for consumers to shop online thanks to this platform.
2019 saw Otto getting revenue of $3.8 billion approximately from online sales. This is relatively less compared to Amazon but still quite impressive enough. Otto has a 13.7% annual growth rate, and 72% of its online sales are garnered from fashion, appliances, and furniture. This adds a level of uniqueness to them.
Previously known as 360buy, JD is also Chinese in origin. The Fortune 500 company is a direct competitor of Tmall. JD.com has a vast collection of products to buy from. There is a ‘buy-in bulk’ category here that is why it can compete with Alibaba.
They have another affiliate website known as Joybuy.com. It is in English, and it ships the products to more than 200 countries. Apart from that, the website offers 30-day returns and 24/7 customer service.
JD has around 305 million active customers. The quarterly active customer accounts it has increased by 22% every year.
Who does not know about eBay? The website deals with consumer-to-consumer selling in an online marketplace. With time, eBay has expanded and is no longer just a method for consumers to buy and sell any kind of product. These days eBay is used not only for the C2C model but for B2C sales as well.
If we talk of marketplace website visits, eBay is next to Amazon and gets around 20% of the market share.
The traffic that eBay receives is pretty good. It is almost double of Walmart, and we know how established Walmart is in the online space. Its ability to bid on products and range of unique buyers and sellers make eBay a top competition to Amazon.
Flipkart is a new e-commerce company in comparison to other names on the list. This platform is based out of India and was launched in 2007. In 2018, Walmart gained 77% of Flipkart’s shares. This increased the valuation of this company to $22 billion. Walmart has a majority stake in Flipkart, and it is assumed that the website will gain further from there.
There are more than 100 million users on Flipkart, and its user-friendly design and customer service ensures that it remains a desirable competitor to Amazon. Having a wide range of products to offer, the company will continue to succeed in the future too.
Rakuten is Japanese in origin and generates around $2.3 billion every year in sales. In the year 2010, Rakuten gained 14.1% of the global e-commerce market share. They are also responsible for managing 10% of the total e-commerce retail share just in Japan.
In the year 2019, Rakuten generated around $134 billion in e-commerce sales. They purchased buy.com in 2010 with an aim to expand their global presence in the USA. Apart from that, Rakuten also purchased companies like Price Minster (France) and Play.com (UK). They also acquired Ebates (cash-back rewards) and Viber (VoIP software).
Rakuten is expanding and buying companies in various industries and regions, and with that, it is trying to tackle Amazon in its game.
Newegg is the leader in electronics sales. It deals with products like laptops, cameras, phones, and TV. It offers all the electronics at a reasonable rate and still generates $2.7 billion in revenue.
Newegg’s success in the electronics space is a threat to Amazon. This is because electronics remains Amazon’s most successful category. 44% of Amazon’s US shoppers purchased an electronics product through them. Amazon obviously looks forward to such sales.
Newegg’s increasing share means a loss of billions from Amazon’s revenue.
How To Compete With Amazon In Ecommerce Domain
You don’t have to be a Walmart, eBay, or Alibaba to succeed in online sales. The store you have does not need $1billion revenue to stand up against Amazon. Just follow the tips which other successful brands are following. Here are some tips to help you lock horns with Amazon.
1. Branding Is Everything
Creating a brand is a powerful thing. It is the sole reason why a Starbucks can charge $5 for its coffee while Gucci can sell t-shirts for $500. You must build a brand that your customers can identify and trust. If your customers are loyal to your brand, they will shop with you only. Even if there are other cheaper options, they will stick with you.
Amazon has products of various brands, but the nature of the platform ensures that every product appears as if it has no brand. Customers find it tough to tell the difference between one brand to another. This offers an opportunity for other B2B e-commerce stores to exert their exclusivity with their unique brands.
2. Don’t Ignore Your Existing Customers
People feel that they need to get out and find some new customers in order to be successful. Though getting new customers is good, you should not forget your loyal customers. Such repeat customers will spend a higher amount of money and convert faster than other new customers.
Any customer who buys something from your site knows all about your products and brands.
It will be easy for you to sell your products again to them instead of telling a new customer about what you do and who you are.
Research reveals that there are 70% chances of selling to a loyal and repeat customer, a figure that drops to 5% for new customers. Apart from that, a returning customer has a 50% higher chance of buying new products and spends 31% more money than a new customer.
Amazon’s Prime membership is a unique way to retain customers. Similarly, you have to come up with a customer loyalty program and increase customer retention.
3. Optimze Your Ecoomerce Site
Ecommerce SEO is a need that most B2B commerce stores should consider as a top priority.
- Site architecture
- User experience
- Category descriptions
- Product descriptions
- Keyword research
- Link building
The above-mentioned are elements of your on-page and technical SEO. If you are able to master the SEO strategy, you will rank on top in SERPs for related keywords in the category.
The first page of any Google search result will capture around 71% clicks. If you are not there on the first page, chances are customers will never reach your website.
Without putting an emphasis on organic search traffic, you are just hoping that customers will come to your website and ignore the search engine. But what happens if the shoppers do not know much about your brand. They will be ignored entirely.
These numbers are a reflection of what is happening. Nearly 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. Consumers look for what you are selling. You have to see that your website is ranking in search engine results.
4. Build An Email List
Unlike what people believe, email marketing is very effective. In fact, it remains one of the best ways in which a brand can communicate with customers. If you get a customer’s email address, you can tell the customer about the sales and promotional offers available. You may be thinking about your brand all the time, but your customers don’t do so.
Do not sit and wait that they will visit your website. Send an email so as to hasten up the process. The most effective strategy to do so is first to collect the email address at the time of checkout. Just add a small checkbox while they are checking out. It will make it easy for them to subscribe to the list.
Another tactic is that you give them an incentive to join the list. When someone comes to your website, you may give them an offer like a 20% off. Seeing this, the customers may not only sign up but also buy your product immediately.
5. Offer Discounts To Your Customers
When a customer buys anything, he wants to feel that he has got a great deal. No seller wants his buyers to feel bad after shopping at his website. This creates mistrust, and the future associations with the brand see a negative impact too.
Amazon is quite successful, thanks to its prices. To meet Amazon’s low prices, you must also offer jaw-dropping discounts on your website. If a customer feels that he has grabbed a good deal, it will increase his chances of converting to you.
6. Focus On User Experience
Amazon is rather good at making the buyers convert. Their website, app, and single checkout process all add to making them successful.
You will have to ensure that your website can accommodate all customers. The pages must be quick to load and navigation around simple. If the customer does not find what he wants soon, he will move away to another website.
People do not want to deal with a difficult shopping process. Multiple sites, including Amazon, make it a point to make shopping easy.
Plus, first impressions make all the difference. It will take only 0.05 seconds for any person to form an opinion about your website. 38% of customers do not come back to a site that is not attractive. Also, 88% of them won’t come back to the website if they had a bad experience. Meaning that if the website is not user-friendly, people will leave you and go.
7. Sell Different Products
We have already told you that Amazon has a vast inventory. They sell almost everything that they think is appropriate. Having said that, you should try and not sell the same products that they offer, especially if you are a reseller.
If you can, create your own product. Or try and create your own niche so as to succeed quickly. It is evident that you will not open a fast food restaurant and set your outlet next to McDonald’s. Do not try and copy Amazon and sell everything they already have. Try and be unique.
8. Don’t Sacrifice Margins
When you are in competition with Amazon, you might find it tempting to cut down the price. But that is not a great idea as that means you will have to cut your profit margins.
Amazon can afford to keep low prices as it has an enormous volume of sales. But a retailer like you cannot do so. If you operate at such low-profit margins, you could go out of business.
It is true that if you have a low price than Amazon, customers might choose you. But that is not profitable as that might not even make you enough money to meet the ends. Think of a realistic profit margin. Then plan a pricing strategy that will meet these margins after-sales, discounts, and promotions.
9. Focus On Conversions And Funnels
Conversions only do not make an online store successful. Traffic is fantastic, but if those visitors don’t convert, it is pointless. Amazon Prime members convert at a rate of 74%.
When it comes to conversions, Amazon just impresses and blows away the competitors. You can also model your conversion funnel after Amazon and boost the sales.
We know that getting 74% is tough but think how much money you can get if the conversion rate increases by only 5 or 10%. How much can you make just by doubling the conversions? You could increase the e-commerce conversion rates just by paying attention to the funnels and helping the customers while they checkout.
Here you will have to find out why you are losing the customers through the funnel. Simplify this process so that the conversion can happen in just a few clicks. Each step will give the customers a chance to change their minds and leave the cart and go away.
10. Returns Are An Essential Part
Returns are an essential part of online selling. Instead of trying to avoid them, you have to make this process simple for the customer. These customer-friendly return policies decide whether a customer is converted or missed.
Nearly 66% of customers will check the company’s return policy before buying. 80% of them stay away from brands whose return process is complicated.
Think of yourself as the customer. They bought something and now for some reason they want to return it. In most cases, products are defective or have quality issues. Whatever the reason, the customer is not happy. Now, if you ask him to pay for the returns, he will not be delighted. 41% of customers, therefore, only shop from retailers that provide free returns.
Let them just print a free return shipping label and remove the return or restocking fees from the middle. Do not lose a customer by making returns difficult. If they find the process of return simple, customers will keep coming back to your website.
11. Offer 2-Day Shipping
Amazon’s delivery is impeccable and has raised the bar for others also. Prime members get all their orders at their doorstep within two days. Now most customers want to get the same offer from others too.
In order to compete with Amazon, you will also have to think of offering two-day shipping. But, remember you have to do it for free. Any extra cost like shipping costs is one reason why the cart is abandoned.
Apart from that, 18% of customers leave the checkout because they feel the delivery time is too slow. As per a study, nine out of ten customers think that free shipping is a significant reason why they want to do online shopping.
Don’t think that you will lose this money on shipping. Just add the shipping costs to the base price of the products. Remember, 93% of customers are encouraged to shop more if the shipping is free. The orders that are shipped for free have a 30% higher value. There is no way you can ignore this point; to defeat Amazon, make sure you ship quickly and free.
12. Sell On Other Marketplaces
Instead of selling products from your website, you could also choose to sell on other marketplaces apart from Amazon. This is a perfect strategy for small brands that are operating in a niche segment.
Some top marketplaces that you can think of listing on are
- Touch of Modern
Find an online marketplace that deals in your niche particularly. Shoppers keep frequenting these platforms and will use them to shop online.
Amazon has transformed the way we buy products. The bar of expectations is high, and it is obvious the other retailers have to follow suit.
Though Amazon is a powerful e-commerce giant, it does not mean they do not have any competition. Many companies are striving to grab a pie out of Amazon’s market share.
Every online store is trying its best to defeat Amazon. If you want to succeed and grow, you will have to adjust and alter your policies. Then only you can think of competing with Amazon in close quarters.