The best e-commerce platforms for small businesses in 2023
Find new routes to e-commerce markets you may not have known about and start selling online using the best online e-commerce platform for your product.
You’ve taken the leap to start a new business – great! But if you’re unsure about “what’s the best e-commerce platform for small businesses?”, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, we’ll break down some of the best online e-commerce platforms available so you can start selling domestically or across borders with ease. We’ll break down each platform’s market share, revenue, customer traffic and advertising tools, so you can make an informed decision on which platform is right for you.
No e-commerce guide would be complete without mentioning Amazon. The online giant is the dominant force in American e-commerce, generating a net revenue of almost $316 billion in 2022 from its massive 37.8% market share. By contrast, Walmart only accounted for 6.3% of the market in the same year, meaning Amazon is, by far, the standout domestic player.
Internationally, the picture is much the same. Amazon’s global market share (based on gross merchandise volume) is around 13% as of 2021. Although this figure seems relatively small, it makes Amazon the third-largest e-commerce retailer in the world. But, how does Amazon maintain its lead?
The first reason is variety. Customers can choose from millions of items across nearly three dozen product categories, including electronics, beauty, fashion, baby, and more. As a result, customers flock to the site for purchases big and small In July 2022 alone, Amazon received 5.3 billion global visitors, making it, once again, the standout player by web traffic.
The second reason is the unparalleled convenience of Amazon Prime. Launched in 2005, the subscription service has grown to attract over 200 million people internationally as of Q1 2021, of which around 163 million are American customers alone.
How easy is it to sell and expand internationally on Amazon?
Becoming an Amazon Marketplace seller is easy. Once you’ve set up your store, you can populate it with your products and start selling. You can also optimize your listings and advertise on Amazon to expand their brands more quickly. Best of all, with just a few tweaks, you can sell goods in any international Amazon location and access an even larger customer base.
Just because Amazon is the largest player doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best e-commerce platform for small businesses. In 2022, eBay received nearly 590 million global monthly visitors and generated a net revenue of $9.8 billion. It also has double the global market share of Walmart at 2%, putting it on par with other major US brands like Apple. Market stats aside, eBay was ranked as US e-commerce sellers’ favorite platform to use and boasts around 138 million active buyers worldwide.
Much like Amazon, eBay’s marketplace share figures vary regionally. While eBay lags in the US at fourth place with only 3.5% of the market, it’s a leading platform in Australia and New Zealand, Great Britain and Germany.
eBay offers an equally wide range of consumer goods as Amazon and even offers product listings that Amazon doesn’t. For example, eBay is a popular marketplace for collectables, cars and other high-value second-hand goods like fashion.
How easy is it to sell and expand internationally on eBay?
Becoming a seller on eBay is easy. Just like Amazon, you can start listing products and generating revenue after providing a few details about your store. Once you’re ready to scale, you can take advantage of eBay’s advertising features and even sell internationally.
Etsy occupies the artisan and crafts niche of global e-commerce. So, it’s a great choice if you sell specialty goods, like custom-made home furnishings, wall art and ornaments, and more. Etsy is an especially popular destination for customers shopping for seasonal or event-themed goods, such as Christmas and wedding products..
By focusing on a market niche, Etsy generated around 397 million monthly visitors in 2022 and around $1.7 billion the previous year. Like other e-commerce platforms recently, Esty grew its user base by an impressive 75% and its gross merchandise sales by more than 100%, meaning new sellers can tap into this growth.
How easy is it to sell and expand internationally on Etsy?
Becoming an Etsy seller is easy: once you’ve set up your account, you can create product listings and start selling. Etsy sellers can access advertising tools to find interested customers more quickly, and you can increase your store’s visibility by optimizing product listings with key phrases and well-formatted displays.
What’s more, US merchants account for 62% of all Etsy sellers, meaning selling internationally on Etsy is very common for American store owners looking to scale their business.
The best online e-commerce platform in international regions
So far, we’ve discussed some of the big names in US e-commerce, but if your product is better suited to foreign markets, selling internationally makes sense. Not only can you get direct access to your ideal consumers, but can also take advantage of favorable exchange rates to minimize costs. So, what’s the best e-commerce platform for small businesses that export or sell overseas?
Your own website
The best e-commerce platform for small businesses is one that you own. Starting an e-commerce website gives you lots of flexibility and control over your customers’ experience. Best of all, you can avoid seller fees cutting into your profits, and you can sell anywhere in the world easily – rather than waiting on an e-commerce platform to expand!
Otto.de, Zalando, Allegro, Cdiscount and E.Leclerc
Some of the largest B2C e-commerce websites (aside from Amazon) operating in Europe include Otto.de, Zalando, Allegro, Cdiscount and E.Leclerc. Combined, these sites receive hundreds of millions of visits every month.
Tmall, Taobao and JD.com
Tmall, Taobao, and JD.com collectively hold the largest market share of global e-commerce and are Chinese e-commerce platforms. 10 years ago, China accounted for less than 1% of the global e-commerce market, but today, the country holds the world’s largest e-commerce market and number of buyers globally.
China is also home to the largest e-commerce sales event in the world called ‘Singles Day’. All this means that China is a highly lucrative market for new e-commerce entrepreneurs looking to make money.
Launch your e-commerce store today
New e-commerce business owners have so many options to choose from, which can make the process of starting a business feel daunting. However, by spending time on market research, you can choose the best online e-commerce platform for your products — whether it’s your own website or an existing platform.
The only major decision left is a payment processing partner. Regardless of whether you want to operate domestically or overseas, find a partner that offers safe, secure and (above all) quick payments to and from customers.
Buy and sell across borders with ease
Modern e-commerce businesses looking to sell to customers and pay international suppliers need currency transfer solutions.
Unfortunately, too many small businesses still opt for slow and expensive methods. Zyla is a leading international payments provider which offers small businesses a better way to handle transactions.
The Zyla Account is the hassle-free way to pay business partners and get paid from marketplaces quickly.
- Open multi-currency accounts with local account details
- Make fast and secure global payments to suppliers, staff and partners
- Collect funds from marketplace sales
- Keep costs down with competitive rates
The free-to-open Zyla Account enables businesses to make collections and payouts internationally – giving you the freedom to do business anywhere, all with the security of our online platform. Open an account today and you could be approved, set up and trading internationally in 24 hours. Get started or find out more by calling (855) 797-3366 today.