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Comparison Between Etsy And Amazon Marketplace Models

by Noyal Sharook
Amazon marketplace

In the ever-evolving landscape of commerce, the concept of marketplaces has undergone a remarkable transformation, especially since the pandemic shifted the globe entirely to a digital realm. This has paved way for numerous business to make use of the opportunity and thrive amidst a plethora of market changes. The modern marketplace has emerged as more than just a transactional hub; it has evolved into a dynamic ecosystem where entrepreneurship flourishes, creativity abounds, and unique connections are forged.

When speaking about online marketplaces, it is impossible to skip Amazon and Etsy. These online marketplaces have redefined how we shop, trade, and interact in the digital age. But how do these businesses actually work? Well, in this article, we’re putting on our detective hats and going behind the scenes. We’ll spill the beans on how these ecommerce marketplaces make money, how sellers and buyers team up, and the techical stuff that keeps everything running smoothly. Read on. 

Amazon Marketplace model 

Amazon Marketplace provides a platform where a diverse array of sellers, ranging from independent creators to established businesses, converge to sell their products to a wide customer base. Leveraging Amazon’s robust infrastructure, sellers can streamline their operations using the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, which handles storage, shipping, and customer service.

Think of it like this: Amazon Marketplace is where sellers and buyers gather, and Amazon’s helpful system makes selling and shipping easier through FBA. It operates as a two-sided marketplace, fostering a convenient platform for buyers and sellers to engage in trade effortlessly. This operational framework caters to the diverse needs of every consumer. It oversees the entire process, from manufacturing and packaging to shipping and delivery, offering a wide array of products at competitive prices to its customers. In short, it can be summarized as an all-round multi-vendor marketplace platform. 

In this model, Amazon generates revenue through a strategic fee structure. Sellers on the platform are subject to various charges, including commission fees, which are a percentage of the item’s sale price, and fulfillment fees for utilizing Amazon’s storage and shipping services. These fees contribute to Amazon’s revenue while allowing sellers to leverage the online marketplace’s extensive logistics network and customer base. 

For buyers, it offers a vast selection of products, competitive prices, and the convenience of a one-stop shopping destination. They benefit from Amazon’s efficient order processing, reliable shipping, and trusted customer service. On the other hand, third-party sellers gain access to Amazon’s extensive customer base, global reach, and well-established infrastructure, enabling them to showcase and sell their products to a diverse audience without the need for extensive logistical support. This mutually beneficial ecommerce marketplace, underpinned by Amazon’s reputation for quality and reliability, forms the foundation of the Amazon Marketplace’s business model.

Etsy Marketplace model 

Etsy Marketplace has carved a unique niche by spotlighting creativity and craftsmanship. Sellers, particularly artisans and creators, come together to showcase handmade and vintage items. This special emphasis creates a feeling of community, where unique stories and skilled craftsmanship are highlighted on dedicated shop pages. Sellers and buyers join a helpful environment, where custom creations find loving homes and vintage items carry on their histories.

Buyers are welcomed into an energetic community at Etsy, where they have the chance to explore unique treasures and directly support talented creators. Etsy’s approach centers on building an online marketplace that cherishes originality, personal stories, and the sharing of remarkable products. 

Sellers on Etsy are charged a listing fee for each item they place in their shop, giving them a virtual storefront to display their creations. Additionally, a transaction fee is applied when a sale is made, which supports the platform’s operations. This fee covers payment processing, customer support, and the technology that keeps this multi-vendor marketplace platform running smoothly.

Additionally, they also offer a subscription model known as Etsy Plus for sellers looking to enhance their experience on the platform. Etsy Plus provides sellers with valuable tools and advantages to optimize their shops, including free listing credits, customizable shop themes, advanced analytics, discounted shipping labels, and exclusive promotions. 

In the case of logistics, Etsy offers a fulfillment service known as Etsy Shipping to help sellers manage the logistics of shipping and delivery. While Etsy itself does not handle all aspects of shipping and delivery like Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service, it provides tools and resources to assist sellers in fulfilling orders effectively. However,  it could be said that Amazon’s FBA offers a higher level of convenience for sellers. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Amazon Marketplace and Etsy represent two distinct yet impactful models within the e-commerce landscape. Amazon, with its vast reach, operational scale, and diverse product offerings, caters to a broad spectrum of consumer needs. Its two-sided online marketplace connects millions of buyers with an unparalleled array of products, combining convenience, competitive pricing, and reliable fulfillment. While Amazon’s approach provides a robust platform for sellers, its focus on efficiency and mass appeal may overshadow the personalized and unique touch that many buyers seek.

On the other hand, Etsy thrives as a haven for artisans, creators, and vintage enthusiasts. Its value proposition centers on building a creative community where individual stories and handcrafted products shine. Etsy’s business model echoes a passion for craftsmanship, enabling sellers to engage directly with their buyers and offer items that celebrate originality. While Etsy may lack the expansive infrastructure of Amazon, its specialized approach speaks to consumers who prioritize authenticity, connection, and the support of independent sellers.
Now, what would it take to build an online marketplace, similar to one like Amazon or Etsy? It’s a lot of effort – finding the right platform, building a payment gateway, integrating a seamless platform for sellers and buyers, testing, etc. But what if you could build one with just a click? Yes, you heard that right.

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