The Second Most Popular Online Marketplace May Surprise You

popular online marketplace

It is easy to guess the most popular online marketplace as they have made a few headlines here and there, but the second most popular might not be so obvious. The answer is surprising because it is an ecommerce site that focuses on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies.

What is especially interesting is that while major brands flock to Amazon as the world’s largest retailer outside of China, it is actually Etsy – the second most popular online marketplace – that has become something of a holy grail for smaller businesses.

Etsy is the 2nd Most Popular Online Marketplace

Small businesses can really stand out on Etsy, with their often unique products attracting plenty of interest. Such businesses owned and operated by individuals, couples or friends, would usually be lost in the shuffle on such a giant platform as Amazon. But Etsy has carved out its own reputation as a home to businesses that sell bespoke products of a quality you won’t necessarily find scrolling through all the major brands and retailers hawking their mainstream goods via Amazon.

The interest of consumers in such a platform and the smaller businesses it promotes is encouraging too. You might expect Amazon to be the most searched online marketplace across the whole of the U.S., but research conducted by CenturyLinkQuote revealed Etsy was actually the most searched in nine states.

Etsy also earned a total revenue of $1.7 billion during 2020. That is some way short of Amazon’s $21 billion, but still incredible when you consider 97% of the Etsy seller respondents ran their businesses from home.

Online Retailer Research Methodology

The research team CenturyLinkQuote are an authorized sales agent of CenturyLink products, and they explained the methodology behind their research: “The team at assembled a list of 18 online-only retailers. We defined ‘online-only’ status as stores with only temporary pop-up locations or less than 15 brick-and-mortar locations worldwide.

“From there, we used SemRush to discover which 13 online retailers had the highest search volume. We then used Google Trends to determine which store each state has searched for the most in the past year.”

The nine states that had Etsy as its most popular online marketplace include Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming.

Home of Handmade and Craft Businesses

The popularity of Etsy is likely down to its prevalence of small businesses, especially those that specialize in handmade and crafted products. So far during 2021, some of the best selling products on the website include a handmade women’s necklace, custom dog portraits and even bespoke men’s lingerie.

There are also lots of businesses who sell one-of-a-kind items, which is something very difficult to find on more mainstream online marketplaces like Amazon. In this way, Etsy is the online shopping experience that is most similar to visiting an actual marketplace to discover all the weird and wonderful items you either want or never knew you needed.

Image: Depositphotos


Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

2 Reactions
  1. To me, Etsy is one of the few places where you can actually get hand-crafted, unique pieces done. The other marketplaces are dominated by the “big guys”.

  2. I’m glad to hear that Etsy is doing so well and is so well known! I think it’s a great marketplace to get one of a kind products. It’s a great platform and for many reasons!