By the year 2040, experts estimate that approximately 95 percent of commerce transactions will take place online.
With this information in mind, it’s clear that now is the perfect time for businesses of all kinds, both business-to-consumer (or B2C) and business-to-business (or B2B) to start selling products online. Whether they’re selling online in addition to or instead of in a traditional brick-and-mortar store, an internet platform is essential to businesses’ long-term survival.
Not sure where to begin? Listed below are 13 of the best platforms you can use to sell your products online. Whether yours is a B2C or B2B company, there are plenty of options from which you can choose.
Before exploring specific marketplaces, it helps to have a clear understanding of the difference between B2C and B2B online sales channels.
When most people think of selling products online, they think of B2C marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. What they don’t always realize, though, is that these popular platforms also have a B2B version for those who are marketing products to other business owners. There are also many B2B platforms that cater exclusively to those in the B2B world.
In either case, there are some key differences between B2B and B2C sales channels. Both options connect buyers to multiple sellers and give buyers the option to compare products in one place. With B2B marketplaces, though, there are features that B2B companies are more likely to require, including the following:
With B2B marketplaces, it’s also easier to set up the ability to accept a variety of payment types (schedule payments, bank transfers, etc.).
If you run a B2B company, there are advantages that come with choosing a B2B-specific marketplace. Like B2C channels, they help to lower the entry cost, they’re easy to set up, and they give you access to new audiences that you wouldn’t have reached otherwise. They’re also better-tailored to your needs, though, and allow you to get the most out of the platform.
For both B2C and B2B companies, there’s no shortage of sales platforms. Here are 13 of the best ones to consider:
Photo credit: Wix
Literally hundreds of millions of small business owners around the world use Wix as their preferred website builder. In fact, Wix has over 180M registered users worldwide, making it the largest and most popular website building platform in the world. Because of its ease of use and very user friendly drag and drop functionality, Wix is a very compelling option for most. This is especially true for the less tech-savvy entrepreneurs who want to build an attractive, high performing website without having to outsource the work to another party.
Beyond websites, Wix also allows users to create their own online store. Their online store builder is one of the only platforms that allows you to customize every aspect of your site, giving you 500 templates to choose from and professional tools built in.
Like the website-building functions, Wix ecommerce is simple and straightforward. You can drag and drop to create a store that aligns with your brand and is easy for online shoppers to navigate. It comes with hundreds of design features and tools and direct connections to dropshipping solutions such as Modalyst and Printful.
Wix is arguably the most complete option for business owners looking to sell products online. With that in mind, you may find that its ecommerce features are most optimal for small and medium businesses. For those who are just getting started, it’s a very compelling option to consider.
Wix eCommerce pricing starts at $23 per month, with options ranging all the way up to $500 per month.
Photo credit: Shopify
Shopify is another one of the most popular eCommerce platforms for business owners looking to start selling online. Like Wix, it’s very simple and easy to use, with lots of drag and drop options to help you create an online store that looks great and functions well.
Shopify is one of the most frequently used B2C sales platforms, with more than 1,000,000 merchants. A basic plan provides you with everything you need to get started, including a website, blog, SSL certificates, and abandoned shopping cart recovery.
One of the only complaints people have about Shopify is that it has limited customization options. What it does provide, though, is sufficient for most new online businesses.
Shopify pricing starts at $29 per month.
Photo credit: Bonanza
Bonanza is a Seattle-based company that’s much smaller than platforms like Wix and Shopify, with only about 50,000 sellers. It’s growing at a rapid rate, though, and already has over 35 million items listed for sale.
Bonanza offers low selling fees that are based on the Final Offer Value (this is calculated based on the combined dollar value that the buyer paid added to any portion of the shipping fee that exceeds $10). If you sold an item for $30 and the shipping charge was $15, the Final Offer Value would be $35. The selling fee is 2.5 percent of the Final Offer Value, which would result in a fee of just $0.87.
For businesses that want to avoid expensive listing and selling fees, Bonanza can be a viable option. You also only have to pay fees when you make a sale.
Bonanza membership pricing starts at $40 per month.
Photo credit: Amazon
Of course, it wouldn’t be a list of online sales platforms without mention of Amazon. Amazon is one of the most popular websites to sell stuff online and is definitely worth considering due to its large audience and trusted reputation.
Amazon is more expensive than other selling options, though. To become a professional seller, you must fill out an application and pay a $39.99 per month fee. There are fees for each item you sell, too.
For those who plan on selling less than 40 items per month, an individual seller account is available without a monthly fee. For most businesses, though, this won’t be sufficient.
Photo credit: eBay
eBay is the original online sales website and is still considered one of the best places to sell online. Having been around since 1995 and boasting over 25 million sellers, eBay is a viable option to consider. It features a straightforward selling process and lots of businesses prefer it over other platforms.
A common complaint about eBay, though, is its selling fees. There is a non-refundable fee that you have to pay to list each item, as well as an additional fee if you list an item in multiple categories. You also have to pay a “final value fee” that’s calculated using a similar method to the one Final Offer Value Bonanza uses.
Pricing to open an eBay store starts at just $7.95 per month.
Photo credit: Ruby Lane
For those who sell vintage goods or antiques, Ruby Lane is a good platform to check out. It receives more than one million unique visitors each month and is meant to bring antique enthusiasts together on one easy-to-use platform.
Ruby Lane requires a one-time $100 fee to set up a shop. You’ll also have to pay a $69 per month fee if you sell less than 80 items in your shop. The shop fee will change from here based on the number of items you sell.
Photo credit: Etsy
If you sell crafts or hand-made goods, Etsy is a great place to set up shop. It’s known for being easy to use and is a trusted option in the online buying and selling world. Customers may be more inclined to work with you if you use Etsy over a different platform since it’s so well-known.
Etsy’s fees are relatively low and straightforward, too. You’re required to pay a listing fee of $0.20 cents for each item you sell. That item then stays in your shop for either four months or until it sells (whichever happens first). For items that sell, there’s a five percent transaction fee and a three percent plus $0.25 processing fee.
If you’ve been wondering, “Where can I sell my stuff online for free?”, Etsy is a great option. It’s free to set up an Etsy shop and get your business off the ground.
Photo credit: Alibaba
If you’re looking to dive into the world of B2B online commerce, you can’t go wrong with Alibaba. Alibaba is one of the world’s largest online retailers, with options for B2C, C2C, and, of course, B2B companies.
It’s very easy to get started using Alibaba, and you’ll have access to a variety of other selling options, including online auction and mobile commerce.
Alibaba is a more expensive option, with annual seller fees of up to $10,000 and a security deposit of up to $25,000 for Gold members.
Photo credit: Wholesale Central
Wholesale Central has been around since 1996 and is a well-known online wholesale option for a lot of B2B companies. One of the best things about Wholesale Central is that it’s easy to navigate and free to use. There’s no need to pay expensive membership fees when you sign up.
A potential downside to Wholesale Central is that the site looks a bit dated, though. It also doesn’t automate much of the sales process, nor does it integrate with other platforms. If you’re looking for a way to sell online for free, though, it’s worth considering.
Photo credit: Faire
Faire is another popular wholesale option you might want to look into. Originally founded in San Francisco in 2017 under the name Indigo Fair, Faire has been steadily growing for the last few years.
Faire does require an application and approval process. However, it’s free to join, and the platform provides you with the option to have your shop page set up for you if you’re not interested in doing any heavy lifting on that end.
A potential downside to Faire is its fees. Faire takes a 25 percent commission from first-time store orders and a 15 percent commission from reorders.
Photo credit: EWorldTrade
EWorldTrade is a rapidly expanding online B2B platform that offers tons of eCommerce services. It’s also known as one of the best platforms for lead generation as well as online sales.
EWorldTrade encourages transparency and the sale of quality products. It’s a reliable trading platform and is considered a leader in the online B2B sales space.
Pricing for this channel starts at $399 per year and ranges all the way up to $7,999 per year.
Photo credit: Global Sources
Global Sources is a China-based platform and another leader in the B2B online sales world. It serves millions of visitors per month, offers both export and import services, and offers trading to many of the world’s prime countries.
Global Sources is known for having lots of different selling options. It even hosts online trade shows so sellers can show off their best products and attract more potential customers.
The platform also has a free selling option that allows you to post up to 100 items on the site.
Photo credit: Made-in-China
Made-in-China is a popular B2B platform that allows sellers from all over the world to connect with potential buyers. Built back in 1998, it’s been a favored option for a long time and is a good option for those who want to stay on the cusp of the latest B2B marketing strategies.
Made-in-China is accessible in over 10 languages. It provides over 26 major selling categories and over 3,600 sub-categories. It’s the first eCommerce platform to perform comprehensive reviews on paid suppliers, too.
Made-in-China is free to join as well, making it a good fit for B2B companies that are just getting started and are working with limited budgets.
As you can see, there are lots of different platforms you can use to sell online and get your products in front of more potential customers. Whether you run a B2B or B2C business, with so many choices out there today, it’s easy to find online selling sites that meet your needs and work with your budget.
Keep the details of these different marketplaces in mind as you move forward. They’ll help you begin to narrow down your options and decide which one is the best platform to sell online for your business.