As a successful Amazon seller for over 10 years, I‘m often asked about Amazon‘s fiercest competitors in the ecommerce space and beyond. From massive retailers like Walmart to streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon faces threats from all sides.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share insider knowledge on 23 of Amazon‘s biggest competitors based on my experience managing seven-figure Amazon stores. You‘ll learn how these rivals are challenging Amazon‘s dominance in retail, digital media, cloud services, and more.
Whether you‘re an Amazon seller, investor, or just curious about Amazon‘s future, understanding the competitive landscape is key to gaining valuable perspective. Let‘s dive in!
Table of Contents
- eCommerce Competitors
- Streaming Competitors
- Cloud Service Competitors
- Voice Assistant Competitors
Despite reporting a staggering $386 billion in revenue in 2020, Amazon faces relentless competition in its core online retail business from big box stores expanding into ecommerce to rising digital-native brands.
With over $524 billion in annual revenue, Walmart remains Earth‘s largest company. But don‘t count out this brick-and-mortar behemoth just yet. From my experience, Walmart is making smart moves to compete digitally:
- Investing billions to improve its ecommerce capabilities and user experience
- Offering free two-day shipping without a membership fee
- Providing in-store pickup discounts not available online
Walmart‘s huge physical footprint (over 10,500 stores worldwide) also uniquely positions it to blend physical and digital commerce through initiatives like curbside pickup.
While smaller than Walmart, Target generates impressive ecommerce sales of nearly $8 billion per year. The discounter competes by:
- Offering same-day delivery through Shipt
- Providing Drive Up for convenient in-store pickup
- Creating exclusive partnerships with popular brands like Disney, Apple, and Levi‘s unavailable on Amazon
|2020 Revenue||Online Revenue Share|
Sources: MWPVL, ScrapeHero, Target
As you can see, Amazon currently leads rivals in online revenue contribution, but competitors are quickly catching up.
As one of the first ecommerce companies, eBay connects buyers and sellers through auctions and direct sales. Despite its age, eBay remains highly relevant with:
- 182 million active global users
- $10 billion in revenue in 2020
- Wider selection of rare, vintage, and niche items unavailable on Amazon
During my early years selling on Amazon, I frequently cross-listed on eBay to tap into their audience looking for more unique items. Though eBay tends to attract fewer bargain hunters today, it still drives significant volumes in categories like collectibles, electronics, and cars.
For shoppers seeking one-of-a-kind specialty items, Etsy offers an array of vintage, handmade, and custom products you won‘t find on Amazon.
As an expert Amazon seller, I‘ve seen many crafters and artists choose Etsy over Amazon due to:
- Lower fees – Etsy charges just 5% vs. Amazon‘s 15%
- Ability to set own prices rather than compete largely on price like Amazon
- More customizable storefronts to build a personal brand
With over 90 million active buyers globally, Etsy has proven itself as a compelling alternative for DIY sellers.
Shopify empowers entrepreneurs to set up independent online shops quickly by providing an all-in-one ecommerce platform.
The company now powers over 1 million merchants globally. And Shopify‘s 2020 revenue exceeded $2.9 billion.
As Amazon increasingly competes with its own sellers, Shopify gives small businesses an alternative by allowing them to:
- Build customized online stores with their own branding
- Manage payments, shipping, and marketing in one place
- Avoid Amazon fees and restrictions
Based on my experience, Shopify appeals most to product companies aiming to nurture direct relationships with customers.
Often dubbed "The Amazon of China," Alibaba operates a massive online marketplace connecting Chinese businesses and consumers.
Some key stats:
- 780 million active annual customers
- $109 billion in 2020 revenue
- Over 80% market share of Chinese ecommerce
|2020 Revenue||Annual Active Customers|
For American companies, Alibaba provides access to sell to the enormous Chinese consumer market. And for Chinese companies, Alibaba offers global distribution through AliExpress.
As a global seller, I keep a close eye on Alibaba as their growth outside China presents an increasing threat to Amazon‘s dominance.
In addition to retail, Amazon competes aggressively in the digital media landscape against Netflix, Spotify, Apple, and Google.
With over 200 million paid subscribers globally, Netflix remains the king of video streaming. The platform generated an incredible $25 billion in revenue in 2020.
In my household, Netflix is our most used streaming service because of their unmatched selection of original shows and movies like Stranger Things, Squid Game, and Don‘t Look Up.
Some advantages Netflix boasts over Prime Video:
- Higher global appeal evident by large non-US user base
- Invests significantly more in original content – $17 billion in 2020 vs. $11 billion for Amazon
- Simple pricing in local currencies across 190 countries
- Intuitive user experience and superior video quality
Disney leveraged its existing entertainment assets to quickly build an impressive streaming competitor. Though launched in late 2019, Disney+ already exceeds 130 million global subscribers.
Disney‘s deep vault of content from Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more gives it unique appeal among families with kids.
From a pricing standpoint, Disney+ costs just $8 per month compared to $14.99 for Prime Video. This makes it very attractive for parents like me looking to entertain kids without busting budgets.
9. Apple TV+
Backed by Apple‘s strong brand and over 1 billion active devices, Apple TV+ has already surpassed over 40 million members less than 3 years since launching.
While newer than rivals, Apple is committed to funding premium original movies and shows spending over $6 billion annually. Early hits like Ted Lasso demonstrate Apple‘s ability to create buzzworthy content.
Tight integration with Apple devices also gives the streamer inherent advantages. For example, buyers of new Apple devices get TV+ free for 1 year.
With over 180 million premium subscribers globally, Spotify remains the top music streaming choice for most listeners including myself.
Some advantages Spotify holds over Amazon Music include:
- Superior music discovery and user experience
- More extensive catalog from major and independent labels
- 83 million tracks vs. 90 million for Amazon Music
- More accessible free streaming tier and student discount
Exclusive podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience also drive subscriptions and engagement. With 2020 revenue exceeding $9 billion, expect Spotify to maintain the top streaming music spot for years to come.
Cloud Service Competitors
Though dominant overall, AWS faces increasing competition in cloud computing and web services from hungry rivals Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and more.
11. Microsoft Azure
The top challenger, Microsoft Azure revenue grew 50% in 2020 to over $17 billion. By strategically bundling Azure with Microsoft‘s software like Office 365, Azure chips away at the AWS installed base.
And Azure touts specialized capabilities AWS lacks in areas like data sovereignty, hybrid deployments, and AI. Microsoft‘s strong enterprise partnerships and trust also help Azure land lucrative business accounts.
12. Google Cloud
With customers like Snap, Spotify, and PayPal, Google Cloud increased revenue 47% to $13 billion in 2020. Google Cloud‘s pricing model appeals to companies with variable workloads. Interoperability with Google‘s popular collaboration and analytics services also differentiates their offering.
And features like multi-cloud deployments and carbon footprint reporting strengthen Google‘s positioning with forward-thinking enterprises.
13. IBM Cloud
Despite being smaller than AWS and Azure, IBM Cloud grew its market share in 2020. By emphasizing open standards, IBM Cloud appeals to companies looking to avoid vendor lock-in. And IBM‘s deep expertise in highly-regulated industries like financial services and healthcare gives them advantages competing for lucrative enterprise contracts.
14. Oracle Cloud
Oracle trails leaders but holds substantial market share in SaaS and PaaS categories. The database giant lures customers by promising up to 50% cost savings versus AWS. And Oracle Cloud‘s specialized capabilities suit companies already relying on Oracle‘s popular database and software products.
Voice Assistant Competitors
Introduced in 2014, Alexa rapidly grew to dominate the voice assistant market. But major tech rivals continue pouring resources into developing compelling alternatives.
15. Google Assistant
Available on over 1 billion devices, Google Assistant is the most widely distributed digital assistant today. Thanks to Google‘s vast search index and advancements in natural language processing, Assistant can handle complex voice queries better than competitors in my experience.
Google also proactively surfaces relevant information like flight times and traffic alerts based on your calendar and habits. With over 500 million monthly active users, expect Google Assistant to challenge Alexa‘s lead in coming years.
As the longest-running voice assistant, Siri comes built into all Apple devices providing it with unrivaled reach. Over 90% of Apple‘s 1 billion+ active devices can access Siri giving Apple‘s assistant the largest installed base by far.
While Siri has its weaknesses compared to Alexa, its tight integration with Apple services like Apple Music, messaging, and photos offer unique capabilities that iPhone owners love.
17. Microsoft Cortana
While Cortana has struggled to match Alexa‘s popularity, Microsoft continues investing heavily in its voice assistant. Key advantages Cortana offers businesses include:
- Seamless integration with Microsoft 365, Outlook, and other Microsoft productivity software
- Access to data and content across Microsoft tools like SharePoint and OneDrive
- Soon to be bundled with Microsoft Teams for convenient video conferencing
So for enterprises invested in Microsoft‘s ecosystem, Cortana presents a compelling office assistant.
I hope this guide has helped showcase the diverse range of emerging competitors Amazon must fend off across its varied businesses.
It‘s crucial for Amazon sellers and investors to continually monitor how these rivals are evolving. Companies once dismissed and written off like Apple and Disney have fought back through strategic transformations.
Amazon‘s relentless customer focus and willingness to disrupt itself has allowed it to stay ahead so far. But past success is no guarantee of future safety.
Stay tuned for my next piece where I‘ll analyze these competitors‘ strengths and weaknesses to assess which pose the greatest threat to Amazon‘s continued dominance!