How are new e-commerce startups coping?

An interesting question on an online forum:

Despite competition from big e-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart, and eBay, etc., how are new e-commerce startups coping?


  1. Amazon, eBay, and other eCommerce companies have strong roots in the U.S. and have been operating for nearly two decades.
    • During this time, a number of smaller players have entered the market, and some have survived and thrived. For instance the classifieds market – craigslist or kijiji .ca in Canada – operate alongside eBay’s marketplace
    • Many large “big box” retailers like Best Buy and WalMart have also managed to carve out a successful eCommerce presence
    • Amazon doesn’t just compete with eCommerce companies but with other traditional retailers

2. Retail business is aggressive and risks include managing customer demand, preferences and supply chains.

  • Large retailers in America co-exist with a few small “mom and pop” operators too.
  • Smaller players are continually threatened when large players like WalMart enter their markets. Same for eCommerce companies that operate in a niche

So back to your question: How are new e-commerce startups coping against large players? A few ways some of them are coping:

  • Execution excellence – It is hard to execute when you don’t have the scale of Amazon or eBay. However smaller players are nimble and can try to execute faster
  • Carving out a niche – Some startups are trying to create a niche in eCommerce for example selling New Cars in India like is trying to do. Carving out a unique space like customer niche, product niche or a unique service model that draws customers.
  • Unique business models – Examples include bundling services along with a product, or other value added services in B2B sales

Response by Mohan K, Editor of

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