Besides the burgeoning domination of Amazon.com Inc., in the online retail space, there is still room for newcomers to succeed in E-Commerce, if the new start-ups offer consumers something unique, says a digitalcommerce360.com report. It could be retailing one of its kind home furnishings and fine art as 1stdibs.com does or sofas that consumers assemble at home, which is Burrow's business model, notes the report.It might as well mean making it easy to buy a complex product online, as Rad Power Bikes is doing by working with Velofix, an operator of bike-repair vans that now assembles Rad bikes for consumers for $99, says the report. Those three companies are among the 72 retailers covered in a new Internet Retailer report, “The E-Commerce Start-ups.” All 72 have begun selling online in a significant way only since 2015—which means they entered e-commerce when Amazon was already casting a long shadow over retail competitors. And yet as a group, they have prospered. Collectively, they more than doubled their web sales in 2017 to $1.375 billion, and those selling since 2015 posted a combined two-year compound annual growth rate of more than 100%.Less CompetitionAlmost half of them are selling products they develop themselves, which means they don’t have to compete online directly with the likes of Amazon or Walmart Inc. because they can sell their products exclusively if they choose. That’s been the strategy of Burrow and Rad Power Bikes. But Eosera, which came up with a new earwax removal solution, unveiled its product initially on Amazon, using the Amazon Essentials program designed for companies introducing new products. In return for not selling the product on any other online marketplace and for paying an additional 5% commission to Amazon, the program provides greater visibility to participating products, both in search results on Amazon and email offers Amazon sends customers, says the report.
Months before going live with its own e-commerce site, Eosera launched its product online via Amazon in April 2017. While participation in Essentials served its purpose of getting out the word, Eosera ended its participation in the program late in 2017.Elye Stoltz Dickerson, Co-Founder, and CEO, Eosera said, “We were giving up some of the profit to get exposure. Once we had enough traction and exposure, we felt we could stop paying the premium.” Eosera’s main product, EarWaxMD, is now available in CVS stores, the report said.Podcast AdvertisementStating that Burrow has had success advertising on podcasts, which creates an intimate connection between the host and listener, the vice president of marketing Russell Markus went on to add, “To leverage that connection, we offer podcast hosts one of its sofas so they can speak about the product knowledge. We are not looking for paid endorsements. We genuinely want these people to try out our product and to talk truthfully about it.”Not all are start-upsNot all the 72 e-commerce newbies are start-ups, the report points out. Some are established brands like Canada Goose, Asics, New Era and Alfred Dunner Inc. that are going directly to consumer via the web to make up for sagging store sales. Others are retailers bringing successful brick-and-mortar concepts to the web, such as Hollar.com, which aims to be the online equivalent of a dollar store, or Just Candy LLC, which personalizes candy and party favors for consumers and companies, the report continued. What they have in common is that they are bringing new products and services to the web, in most cases offering something that Amazon doesn’t—at least, not yet, added the report.