Commerce & Sales Channels

An eCommerce Marketplace Guide: From eBay to Amazon

Commerce & Sales Channels
August 1, 2023
12 min read

This guide overviews the top ecommerce marketplaces for sellers looking to expand into new sales channels to reach new customers.

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Why Sell on an eCommerce Marketplace?

eCommerce marketplaces have grown in popularity for both retailers and consumers. Retailers see third-party marketplaces as an opportunity to expand their product offerings without tying up capital in additional inventory. Consumers see ecommerce marketplaces as a convenient and often customized search engine to discover new products and find the best deals.

In fact, recent consumer survey data revealed that:

  • One-third of consumers will do over half of their shopping on ecommerce marketplaces this year
  • 89% of consumers comparison shop on 2 or more marketplaces before making purchase decision
  • 89% of consumers plan to shop on a new ecommerce marketplace this year

According to Ware2Go CEO, Steve Denton, ecommerce marketplaces are the new marketing muscle for commerce and cannot be ignored as part of a multichannel sales strategy.

What’s the Difference Between Marketplaces and eCommerce?

An eComemrce marketplace exists to aggregate multiple third-party sellers and function as an online storefront. Similar to traditional brick and mortar retail stores, marketplaces attract shoppers due to their wide assortment of inventory. eCommerce generally refers to all online retail sales and can happen either on your own ecommerce website or on a marketplace. It can be difficult to attract the volume of digital “foot traffic” to your site that major marketplaces do, but you have no competitors on your own ecommerce site. That’s why it’s important to incorporate marketplaces and a dedicated ecommerce website into your multichannel ecommerce strategy.

Managing Multiple eCommerce Marketplaces

If you’re thinking of listing your products on multiple marketplaces to expand your reach, we’ve laid out some important considerations that will help you take full advantage of your multiple listings. Each ecommerce marketplace is unique with its own content requirements, marketing features, and payment options, not to mention the community surrounding the marketplace and the top-of-mind items for shoppers who browse there.

Successfully managing multiple marketplace listings is all about finding a perfect balance of casting a wide net and not spreading yourself too thin. There are ample marketplace options in today’s highly digitized economy, many more than we’ve listed here, but these high-level features of some of today’s top players should help you create a checklist to determine which channels may perform best for your products.

Below, we’ve outlined the top 5 ecommerce marketplaces to help you to decide which channels to launch first. Looking for a more in-depth look at the top marketplaces for ecommerce sellers? Click below to download our complete guide.


As the largest ecommerce marketplace in the world, Amazon is an obvious first stop for most merchants. Many shoppers actually begin their shopping journey on Amazon, and even if they make their way to another channel to make their purchase, they still use Amazon as a price-checker and a delivery standard. In fact, the so-called “Amazon effect” has long driven consumer expectations for 2-day delivery to the extent that merchants who don’t offer this option are no longer competitive.

Amazon is, however, a highly saturated marketplace, making it essential for sellers to win the buy box by pricing competitively and guaranteeing 2-day delivery either through FBA or SFP. The Prime badge is eye-catching at the top of the sales funnel and draws loyal Prime customers who typically spend twice as much money per year on the site as non-members. Because Amazon is the current industry leader, most platforms, whether a multichannel selling software or fulfillment partner, will integrate with it, allowing you to automate many of the day-to-day functions of managing your listings. 

A quick overview of Amazon’s fulfillment infrastructure and inventory visibility may give some sellers pause and make them consider prioritizing a strategic fulfillment partner. Finding a partner that is committed to your business’s success and cares as much about your KPI’s and customer satisfaction as you do can be the difference between logistics being a squeaky wheel or a revenue driver for your business.


eBay is a legacy ecommerce marketplace as one of the first in the industry, and it remains one of the largest. Most consumers immediately think of eBay’s original auction pricing structure, but the site has long since added a “Buy It Now” fixed price option. Some sellers appreciate the ability to choose between the two pricing options, but the auction model will likely require too much oversight for a growing ecommerce business. Another point to consider when comparing eBay to Amazon is that eBay itself is not a seller in the way that Amazon is. Many merchants find that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete with Amazon’s private label brands. 

Short of offering a full membership program like Amazon Prime, eBay does have a Fast ‘N Free badge program for sellers who offer free shipping, an expedited delivery option, same day or 1-day  handling, and tracking information for all shipments. In addition to the attention grabbing badge, sellers enrolled in this program will also qualify for seller protection on orders that don’t meet the guaranteed delivery time, as long as the order was fulfilled on time.

Although eBay had a fulfillment and delivery program in beta testing for several months in 2019, the program ended abruptly, and eBay offered no insight into the future of the program. To benefit from the Fast ‘N Free program, sellers should have a fulfillment system in place that will consistently meet its requirements.

Walmart eCommerce Marketplace

Walmart Marketplace is quickly encroaching on Amazon’s lead as the largest ecommerce marketplace, after record sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no setup or monthly access fees, making it a low-risk option for merchants. Its major advantage over Amazon and eBay is its connection to brick and mortar stores, giving shoppers a wide variety of options for pickup and returns. 40% of shoppers prefer making returns in-store, and 17% of shoppers went so far as to say that they wouldn’t make an online purchase without the option to return it to a store.

Walmart has built brand loyalty on a history of competitive pricing and excellent customer service. These high standards are also an expectation for Marketplace sellers, and in their race to overtake Amazon’s number one position, Walmart has prioritized same-day fulfillment and speedy delivery with its Free TwoDay Delivery program. The program offers Prime-like placement, and increases a sellers’ chance of winning the Buy Box by 50%.

Its Walmart+ membership program (Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime),  has quickly grown its subscriber base since launching in September of 2020. As Walmart continues to vie for Amazon’s spot as the number one ecommerce marketplace, merchants can only expect that its infrastructure and merchant services offerings will become more robust and user-friendly.

It’s important to note that unlike many other online marketplaces, Walmart will not allow fulfillment through FBA, although it does offer its own in-house fulfillment service. As with any proprietary system like this one, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits of segmenting fulfillment rather than streamlining through a single outsourced partner.

A significant risk in using Walmart Fulfillment Services is a lack of flexibility with limited inventory. The strategy of “ringing” or “fencing” inventory allows merchants to easily move their inventory between sales channels to feed their highest-performing channels. The only way to achieve this type of flexibility is by managing all inventory through a single fulfillment partner.


Newegg was originally founded as a tech-only marketplace, and while it has expanded its offerings to home goods, accessories, and other items, the site is still primarily trafficked by tech enthusiasts. Its program Newegg Business facilitates bulk sales to B2B customers, making it a great foot in the door for tech merchants looking to build a wholesale channel.

Their answer to Amazon Prime, Newegg Premier, will be cancelled soon, but Newegg has announced plans to launch a brand new loyalty program in the future. Members of their current Premier program typically spend 50% more than non-subscribing customers, and Premier sellers are also given exclusive marketing opportunities like eblasts and homepage promotions and automatic higher rankings in search results. Premier offers customers guaranteed 3-day shipping, and merchants can choose to find their own fulfillment provider or utilize Shipped by Newegg.

The Newegg fulfillment program can be integrated with other sales channels, but with only 91% national coverage for 2-day shipping and a standard of 3-day shipping or less, their SLA’s may not be stringent enough to comply with programs like Amazon’s SFP.

Shein Marketplace

Shein established itself as a fast fashion retailer and pioneer of the consumer-to-manufacturer (C2M) business model. Its US marketplace in May of 2023. It is looking to expand its product catalog and increase its number of US sellers by inviting successful Amazon sellers to list on the marketplace, often offering free advertising and waiving referral fees for a time to sweeten the deal.

While Shein is growing quickly, it will have to differentiate itself from Amazon in order to compete. According to Marketplace Pulse, they won’t compete with Amazon in the arena of fast shipping but instead leverage their ability to bring new styles to market quickly.

Your eCommerce Marketplace Ecosystem

Building your ecommerce marketplace channel is a matter of finding the best fit platforms for your products and business operations. Overwhelmingly the evidence shows that listing on multiple marketplaces increases brand awareness and gives you the opportunity to build an ecosystem of marketplace listings so you can leverage the best features of each platform. 

Consumer preference for digital shopping experiences has led to increased pressure on supply chains to delivery quickly and affordably. In fact, 60% of shoppers expect to receive their order in 2 days or less. Additionally, 58.5% merchants responded to our recent survey that they saw repeat business as a result of offering 2-day shipping, indicating that building a supply chain to support the demands of digital sales is key to successful online marketplace growth.

To learn how Ware2Go is helping merchants make the most of their marketplace listings with an expanded 2-day delivery footprint and intelligent inventory management, reach out to one of our logistics experts.


What are marketplaces in ecommerce?

eCommerce marketplaces are online shopping environments that aggregate products from multiple brands on a single platform. The most famous example is Amazon, which has a diverse selling strategy. Its marketplace includes its own propriety product line (Amazon Basics), first-party products (purchased wholesale from brands), and third-party products (brands retain ownership of the inventory and list it on the marketplace on their own).

What is an example of ecommerce marketplace?

Amazon is most common example of an ecommerce marketplace, but many other retailers have launched ecommerce marketplaces in recent years, including Walmart, Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Best Buy.

What is the most popular online marketplace?

Amazon is the most popular online marketplace. 76% of consumers report that they made a purchase on Amazon marketplace last year.

Is Shopify an example of ecommerce or a marketplace?

Shopify is an example of ecommerce. It is a online shopping cart that enables brands to sell on their own ecommerce website.

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