Amazon vs. eBay: The Future of Online Shopping

With easy availability of nearly every product in the world, online shopping need to get traffic to your website free, it has made the lives of millions of people more convenient than ever. Previous generations depended on catalogs to order and purchase things you couldn’t grow on a rural farm, and now many of us depend on online shopping to keep up with our busy lives both at home and on the job. Catalogs may be coming obsolete, but ecommerce has continued to evolve over the last few decades.

Before Shopify (also shopify alternatives) and Paypal, Amazon and eBay stormed the web in 1994 and 1995, respectively, and grew quickly in popularity. In the first two weeks, Amazon was bringing in more than $20,000 — which has grown to $100 billion sales a year now — and in only one year, eBay sold more than $7 million worth of goods through their site, known at the time as AuctionWeb.

Both companies are now international and allow small businesses to sell their products through their website. They gain even more popularity each year, proving that ecommerce is going nowhere but up.

But, which platform is better when selling online, especially with forecasts and changes in the way people are shopping online? With each platform being unique in their own way, the short answer is that it all depends on what you’re selling. The long answer is all in the numbers and what each has to offer.

Woocommerce vs Shopify: The numbers, how about shopify aliexpress dropshipping?

Still an online hub, eBay reported almost $9.6 billion in revenue last year, which is understandable given the fact that they have a 10 percent listing fee. This total is impressive, yet still lower than profits reported in previous years.

Nearly 40 percent of Amazon’s sales comes from third party sellers, with the rest being sold from their own retailers — they’ve acquired around 44 notable organizations over the years, including WholeFoodsand Goodreads. Amazon has reported more than $2 billion each quarter for nearly a year now. The online giant also has smaller selling fees and plans that depend on what and how much you’re selling. Listing with Amazon also means you get tested more on what you’re selling and have many more rules to follow, meaning your customers trust that they’re receiving exactly what they bought.

With their continued innovation and adaptability to changing technology trends, Amazon is quickly taking over the world and when it comes to speed of delivery — we’re talking about 48 hours — no other company compares. That’s especially true now that Amazon has launched AmazonAir. Using drones, some deliveries can reach you within 30 minutes.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean eBay has anything to fear. eBay is still one of the most popular options for listing and selling items quickly. And because it is an auction site, sellers are often able to get more than the item is actually worth. You also have more creative freedom when it comes to designing your product page. Selling on a platform like eBay is ideal for people who are just getting started in the ecommerce world.

Just over 10 percent of all retail sales are via ecommerce, and sales are projected to reach $4.5 trillion in 2020. This is a small fraction of overall retail sales, but the numbers are growing. Sellbrite has also predicted that in the next few years, over half of all online sales will be made on Amazon, with just under 7 percent of all U.S. retail sales made on eBay.

The future of online shopping.

Founded in 2006, Shopify has become a contender in the ecommerce universe, making more than $100 million in sales in their first three years and hitting $26 billion in sales in 2017. It’s quickly becoming a very popular method for small business owners to sell online, especially in the U.S., growing their profits an average of 70 percent a year.

Part of the reason Shopify and shopify partners has become so popular is due to their “new-ness” to the instagram marketing, grabbing the attention of millennials, who make up the biggest share of working adults, with their adaptability, ease of use and events such as their “build a business” campaign.

Shopify also offers two plans that charge little to no transaction fees, instead relying on monthly charges and credit card expenses. Although criticized for these charges, many ecommerce businesses choose Shopify because of it’s amazing selling tools and customer base.

No matter which online host you’re using, being online in some shape or form is still a very wise choice for your business and will give you a huge marketing advantage over any competition that has yet to arrive in the 21st century. It’s 2019, and it’s time to make your mark in the digital world. Choosing to sell on platforms like Amazon, eBay or Shopify will put your product in front of a massive customer base and get you headed in the right direction.

How MaxWholesale wants to challenge large distributors by taking wholesale tech to kiranas

There are 12 million kirana stores in India, and technology has not touched more than 100,000. MaxWholesale wants to change this.

Rama Chetty owns three department stores in Hyderabad. He is a wholesaler offering wholeale umbrellas and supplies consumer goods – from biscuits and juices to salt and shampoos – to a network of stores owned by his family. His stocktaking is all manual, and his family network is unable to scale up because they cannot handle any more than the 4,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) they already do. Revenue is stalled at Rs 1 crore per year.

According to Ernst & Young, there are 12 million kirana (grocery) stores in India and close to a million wholesalers that make up the lifeline of the $650 billion retail industry. Barely a fraction of these use any sort of technology that can help them grow.

This is what MaxWholesale, a Delhi-based tech and wholesale blinds company, is solving: the way FMCG companies (suppliers) work with retailers on a real-time basis.

Founders Samarth and Rohit with a kirana store owner holding a mobile

Founded by Samarth Agrawal and Rohit Narang, MaxWholesale’s solution includes not just a tech platform but also warehousing and logistics capabilities. The cost of collecting orders is zero due to automation, and the cost for a shared supply chain is much lower than for an individual. Today, more than 120 FMCG companies and 5000 kirana stores are working with MaxWholesale to sell makeup supplies.

Retailers start with downloading the app from Google Play Store, and registering on it. “Our company calls them for account approval,” says Samarth, explaining the process. “They can then see the products and prices and place orders as and when they need anything in stock. Our warehouse operations team packs the orders within an hour and material is ready to ship. Next morning our logistics team delivers the wholesale lashes.”

The retailer benefits from transparent pricing, while banner ads and other digital marketing methods help store owners discover new and trending products. Next-day delivery helps a store run on thinner inventory, lesser working capital, and yet higher variety.

In the beginning

Samarth did his engineering in computer science and mathematics from IIT Delhi and before starting MaxWholesale and its canadian wholesale business, was running a B2C startup, GetChat, where he built an app for small kirana store owners to become mobile-ready, build digital store fronts, manage and share catalogues, and communicate with their customers over chat. He soon saw that kiranas did not worry about technology, and would only use it if it meant that their margins increased.

In 2015, he met Rohit, whose family had been in the retail business for over 60 years with a store in Delhi’s Hauz Khas. Rohit loved Samarth’s product at GetChat and over time, the two became friends. When Rohit shared his procurement and supply chain problems with Samarth, they were soon thinking of how they could solve these problems. The result wasMaxWholesale, which came into wholesale lahses being in April 2016.

In 2016, Samarth shifted his core technology to the B2B domain, and Rohit joined him by investing an undisclosed amount in the venture.

Small drop shipping business, big problems

There are millions of kirana stores in India, which collectively account for more than 90 percent of the groceries sold in the country. However, they place small re-stocking orders, which are not profitable for a large FMCG company to deliver.

“Companies are not able to supply to them at the right frequency. Collecting these orders is also an expensive proposition. As a result, at any point in time, a store is out of stock on at least 25 percent of its items,” says Samarth.

Kirana stores make a net margin of 3 percent and hence need to tightly manage their supply chain or bad cash management can burn their monthly income.

The FMCG supply chain consists of manufacturers, carrying and forwarding agents, distributors, wholesalers and retailers. Agents deliver products to distributors and companies appoint area-specific distributors to deliver products to every retailer in their area.

This entire operation is mostly run without any technology intervention. “In place of delivering to thousands of small stores, the distributors prefer delivering to large wholesalers on discount. And retailers are forced to go to wholesalers to pick up stuff,” says Samarth.

While product awareness is generated with digital marketing and TV commercials, distribution remains poor so the product faces challenges in simply getting sold. “There is a huge gap between awareness and availability of a product in India,” points out Samarth.

“There are a lot of micro entrepreneurs like retailers and offline wholesalers, but there aren’t any companies solving these supply chain issues for the ecosystem,” he adds.

Changing the way things are done

MaxWholesale began by identifying a few markets in South Delhi where it started delivering goods. The co-founders went store-to-store, telling retailers about their service, and signed up about 50 of these. Slowly, the orders started coming in. Retailers had questions like whether their delivery would cost them extra, would the products be authentic, and whether they would accept returns in case of damage.

Once the technology and the mode of delivery were accepted, the retailer community started recognising their work, and the startup started building its business.

The major challenges they faced were demonetisation and the implementation of GST, as it slowed down the business. The company is yet to turn profitable, and has received $1 million from India Angel Network. It declined to disclose revenue figures.

“The future is in making the kiranas organise themselves with data. They serve more Indians than any modern retailers,” says Lalit Bhise, founder of Mobisy Technologies, which works with wholesalers and kirana stores to deliver items.

MaxWholesale is currently only working in the Delhi region, and plans to explore other markets in India by the end of next year.