We all know that Amazon is THE place to sell. I have steadily seen my Amazon sales go from around 25% in 2013 to all the way up to 90% today. However, there remain a lot of powerful sales channels outside of Amazon.
Some of these channels, such as your own website, can be used simply to support your conversion rates on Amazon. Others, like Walmart, are simply a bet on future growth. And finally, there are a number of niche-dependent sales channels like Etsy, and even eBay Motors, which can result in very strong sales if your product assortment matches those channels’ target market.
In this article, I give a summary of the most important sales channels outside of Amazon to help you diversify your sales and give some basic guidance on whether you should be using these sales channels or not.
Overview of the Other Sales Channels Outside of Amazon
The other sales channels we’re going to cover in this article are as follows:
Your own website, specifically your Shopify store
Other Amazon marketplaces, including Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.jp
eBay and eBay Motors
The big question you need to ask yourself before you explore other sales channels is whether or not you even should explore other sales channels. The alternative is, of course, focusing strictly on Amazon.
There’s no debate: Amazon is the juggernaut of ecommerce.
Currently, Amazon is nearly half of all ecommerce sales in the United States. However, there are other viable sales channels, and some of them can be significant for you, depending on what niche and industry you’re in.
One word of caution: expanding to other marketplaces will take a disproportionate amount of your time relative to the sales. Make sure that you have maximized the potential of Amazon before looking at expanding into other marketplaces.
Your Own Website/Shopify Store
Who should be selling here? Everyone, especially Amazon sellers.
Even if you’re an Amazon-only seller you need a website for one reason: your own website establishes credibility for your brand and will help support your conversion rate on Amazon.
Setting up a website has never been easier thanks to Shopify. Best of all, Shopify can feed directly into your Amazon product feed and you can ship your products using Amazon and Multi-Channel Fulfillment.
Other Amazon Marketplaces (i.e. Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk)
Who should be selling here? Those looking for the biggest sales boost albeit for the most work.
The sales channels that arguably have the highest probability of earning the highest growth for your ecommerce company are other Amazon marketplaces, specifically Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de.
Who should be selling here? Those selling general consumer goods looking for small single-digit growth but looking to the future.
Walmart is approximately 5.3% of all eCommerce revenue (compared to Amazon’s 38.7%).
One of the main drawbacks to Walmart though is the fact you cannot use Amazon Multi-Channel fulfillment to fulfill your orders. This means you have to use a 3PL and it also means splitting your inventory which can be a cash-flow strain.
eBay and eBay Motors
Who should be selling here? Any with products that can be sold on eBay Motors, cheap commodity type electronics.
You may be surprised to know that eBay still is a relevant sales channel for many niches. eBay is now only about 5% the size of Amazon (compared to nearly 10% five years ago). It’s also currently 4.7% of total ecommerce sales and is losing more and more market share every year.
For cheaper commodity type electronics, i.e. phone accessories, electrical components, etc. eBay is also very strong.
eBay charges a 10% referral fee plus PayPal fees (2-3%) plus your own fulfillment.
eBay can also be great for selling your used and refurbished returns from Amazon.
Who should be selling here? Anyone selling fashion products, handmade products, craft supplies.
Wholesale and B2B
Who should sell here? Those with a strong differentiated brand.
For those with a strongly differentiated product (this often means you have a patent) wholesale is a very credible path to pursue. It gives you an avenue to diversify away from ecommerce sales, which is always a good thing, and margins may be stronger. The downside is that managing wholesale B2B customers is almost like running an entirely separate business as it requires a whole different skill set.
Wholesale customers typically expect to receive a 50% discount off the retail price of an item.
That’s a summary of the other sales channels you should consider for your ecommerce business outside of Amazon.
There’s no doubt that for almost any ecommerce business, Amazon will be the bulk of the lemon for most people.
Are you selling on any other sales channels outside of the ones we mentioned above? If so, which is the most profitable for you?