In the previous part, we have listed the leading marketplaces in North America. Now it’s time for some facts and figures on marketplaces that dominate the European ecommerce landscape.
The European marketplace landscape is robust and rapidly growing, with over 15,000 online marketplaces contributing to a staggering eCommerce market revenue of $363 billion. The region is expected to experience a 7.7% annual growth rate in digital commerce by 2025, solidifying its position as the third-largest eCommerce market worldwide. This is a lot considering the fact that in Europe, there are 50 different countries, more than 200 languages spoken, and 28+ currencies used.
Obviously, most of the action happens in just three European countries, that is, the UK, Germany, and France, but on our list, we have also included marketplaces that are leading or growing in some other corners of Europe.
Allegro is the most popular Polish marketplace and number three on the list of Europe’s largest online marketplaces. With 14.1 million active buyers, Allegro is a good opportunity for B2C brands and professional re-sellers to expand into Poland’s thriving €10 billion online market.
Allegro operates in Polish, English, and Ukrainian, so product listings and customer support have to be localized.
Allegro describes itself as one of the biggest shopping malls in Poland. It has a significant market share in electronics (62 percent), home and garden (74 percent) and fashion (46 percent). Learn more about selling on Allegro marketplace.
Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, known for its wide range of products and services. It boasts a $6.75 billion net profit in Q2 of 2023. This platform is incredibly popular, with 98.07 million monthly users accessing its app in the United States alone. It holds a significant share of the global e-commerce market, accounting for 37.8% of e-commerce sales in the U.S. in 2022 – but it has a huge impact in Europe as well. Amazon sales in Europe make up around 24% of Amazon’s global sales. Amazon is available in eight European countries at the moment of writing.
A survey from 2022 indicated that more than half of European consumers shopped on Amazon. Italian respondents topped the ranking with 75 percent of them shopping on the marketplace.
It also offers Amazon Prime, a subscription service with over 220 million subscribers worldwide, generating substantial revenue. Amazon has a vast network of sellers, with over 9.7 million merchants, and its advertising revenue reached $44.35 billion in 2023.
When it comes to amazon.de, according to Similarweb, amazon.de’s audience is 64.73% male and 35.27% female. The largest age group of visitors are 25 – 34 year olds. In the Electronics & Media market in Germany, amazon.de is ranked #1 with > US$5,000m in 2022. Therefore, amazon.de accounts for even up to 45% of eCommerce net value in Germany. Read more on Amazon in our article here.
ASOS is one of the largest online-only fashion retailers in the world, with websites in the UK, Europe, USA, and Australia. The company targets young sellers, and having noticed the growing trend of marketplaces and selling up-and-coming designers’ clothes and handpicked boutique fashion, it has opened its own marketplace.
Asos sells over 80,000 products, and there are 2,500 to 7,000 new products added every week. It ships to over 140 countries from fulfillment centers in the UK, US, Europe, and China.
By 2017, Asos.com was generating almost £2 billion a year in revenue and has become the leading online apparel site in the UK. What’s more, over 79 million people visited the ASOS website in April 2023, and since March 2018, they have also introduced their mobile app, which has 10 million downloads. The app allows users to upload images of clothing they like and receive a range of matching or similar items that the company stocks. ASOS claims that in the UK, 58% of purchases happen on mobile devices.
bol.com is a leading e-commerce platform based in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is owned by Ahold Delhaize, a major food retail group. Bol.com has maintained its position as the top e-commerce platform in the Netherlands for decades and is also prominent in Belgium.
In 2022, Bol.com reported impressive net sales of 5.5 billion euros, highlighting its substantial presence and success in the region. Additionally, Bol.com has a substantial customer base, with approximately 13 million annual customers.
Cdiscount is a French marketplace with roughly 8.6 million active customers and 19 million unique visitors per month. It sells products across 40 different categories with over €1 billion in annual sales.
Since 2018 Cdiscount started delivering some items to Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain, which marked the beginning of its international expansion. The growing cross-border presence of Cdiscount is the result of its 15 percent year-on-year growth in net sales.
During the second quarter of 2018, Cdiscount customers placed 5.8 million orders for 11 million items. At the moment, the Cdiscount marketplace has 10,000 connected sellers. In 2022, Cdiscount’s gross margin increased by 1.3 points to 23.2%. Revenues generated by the marketplace totaled €191m (-2% vs. 2021, +28% from 2019)
eBay is an e-commerce platform that initially focused on customer-to-customer auction services and later expanded into business-to-consumer transactions. With Amazon, it leads the market in continental Europe, the US, and the UK. In recent years, eBay has seen a decline in revenue, reporting $9.7 billion in revenue in 2022, a 9.3% decrease from the previous year.
Despite challenges and increased competition from Amazon, eBay remains active with 138 million users, primarily in the US, and over 18.3 million sellers.
Emag is the largest ecommerce site in Romania, with over 500,000 unique customers each day. Sellers can list products in over 1600 available categories. The company reported a significant turnaround in its financial performance, achieving a net profit of RON 124 million in contrast to RON 181 million in losses the previous year.
The platform currently hosts 3,500 sellers and more than 1.4 million products, generating more than €100 million in revenue and over 1.9 million orders for marketplace partners. The highest sales are generated in the categories of car accessories, home & deco, children & toys, fashion and sport.
Flubit is a private marketplace for connecting shoppers with online retailers. Hosting a catalog of over 70 million products across categories including home, garden, toys, books, and electronics, it offers a direct alternative to Amazon. At the moment, it has 1,500 UK and Irish sellers.
In November 2017, Flubit was ranked as the #10 most valuable VC-backed eCommerce company in Europe and #2 in the UK.
In 2018, Flubit.com was acquired by the prominent blockchain technology group MonetaryUnit. The decision, at the time of the deal, would reportedly make Flubit.com the world’s largest shopping marketplace dedicated to the acceptance of cryptocurrencies.
Fruugo is a U.K.-based marketplace available in 32 countries and has more than 25 million active users. Sellers can register once to sell across all markets available in the portfolio. The site supports 22 currencies and 17 languages.
Fruugo marketplace operates with hundreds of retailers on a no-sale, no-fee basis and offers them translation, customer service, marketing, and foreign exchange support, so the retailer only needs to fulfill the order.
Compared to its European competitors, Fruugo is a relatively young marketplace. However, it experienced a remarkable 110% increase in full-year revenue, reaching £65 million – with over 96% of its transactions crossing borders and more than 90% of its revenue originating from shoppers outside of the UK.
Mobile.de is a German marketplace for selling vehicles to businesses and consumers. The site has customers from throughout Europe and is the biggest automotive marketplace in Germany.
Its platform allows buying and selling used and new cars, motorcycles, motorhomes, and caravans, as well as trucks and commercial and utility vehicles. The company’s platform also enables users to search dealers, as well as find financing and insurance deals.
The company was founded in 1996 and is based in Kleinmachnow, Germany, but since 2004 it has operated as a subsidiary of eBay Inc. As for operating revenue, it generated 280 million euros in 2020. However, the amount increased in 2021 to 283 million euros and 317 million euros in 2022.
OnBuy is a B2C online marketplace where third-party business sellers can list new, used, or refurbished products, and buyers can browse thousands of categories, compare, and securely purchase with PayPal Buyer Protection.
OnBuy is working with more than 17,000 retailers and offers the choice of 42 million products on its site. Buyers can shop from multiple sellers in a single transaction with a simple, secure checkout solution free from many online fraud risks. Thanks to its reasonable selling fees and immediate payment by PayPal, sellers will enjoy risk-free selling and access to millions of buyers with no competition from OnBuy.
The marketplace was launched in 2016 and is experiencing meteoric growth; ready to launch internationally, with an aggressive growth plan targeting more than 140 countries over the next 18 months. October was the company’s best sales month of the year 2022.
OTTO is the second biggest online retail destination in Germany and claims to be the biggest online retailer there for fashion and lifestyle products.
It originally started as an offline brand, but now 90% of its goods are sold online, and it also has a marketplace on which it sells goods itself and allows third-party sellers.
E-commerce revenues generated by the company in the financial year 2022/23 were worth 4.5 billion euros. Compared to the previous year, it’s a decrease from 5.1 billion euros.
The company has 9 million active customers and reaches 45% of all German households. For marketplace sellers, OTTO represents the biggest ecommerce opportunity in Germany after Amazon.
Rakuten is a globally recognized Japanese ecommerce and online retailing company that operates an extensive and diverse online marketplace. Founded in 1997, Rakuten has grown to become one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world that offers a wide range of products and services – including electronics, fashion, books, and travel bookings.
Central to its business model is the Rakuten membership program, which provides customers with various benefits and rewards for their loyalty.
Rakuten’s annual revenue in 2022 was $14.845 billion, down 3% from 2021. Rakuten Ichiba prides itself on its huge customer base of more than 100 million buyers.
Kaufland.de is one of the biggest and fastest-growing marketplaces in Germany! What’s more, being part of the Schwarz Group, Kaufland.de belongs to one of Europe’s biggest retailers – Kaufland Polska Markets’ revenues grew to 12 billion zloty in 2022 from 9.9 billion zloty in 2019.
In 2023, Kaufland will open further online marketplaces in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This step is the underlying foundation for the launch of the ‘Kaufland Global Marketplace.’
With just one registration, sellers can sell on many country-specific marketplaces with one registration.
Over 8,000 sellers offer more than 40 million products in over 5,000 categories on Kaufland Global Marketplace. This attracts 32 million visitors to Kaufland.de every month.
Zalando is a German marketplace that has expanded to multiple European markets. It’s particularly prominent in Germany, where it boasts 95% brand recognition amongst adult shoppers. However, it has also been expanding into other countries too in recent years and opened fulfillment centers in Sweden and Belgium in 2017.
The latest figures say that they have 20 million active buyers and a 7.4% share of the Western Europe fashion market that totals $42 billion. Zalando’s annual revenue for 2022 was $10.899B – an 11.02% decline from 2021 ($12.25B).
Zalando has more than 22 million customers and sells over 250,000 products from 2,000 merchant brands.
2023 Key takeaways on leading marketplaces in Europe
- Europe’s eCommerce market is valued at $363 billion, with an anticipated annual growth of 7.7% by 2025, making it the third-largest eCommerce market globally.
- Amazon is the biggest online retailer in Europe, with 1 billion monthly visits. Other marketplaces like eBay also attract millions of users.
- While Amazon and eBay dominate the market, there are numerous other marketplaces with significant traffic.
- Most of the domestic markets are focused on just one or a few closely connected countries.
- Some countries, like Germany, have a high share of online retail (19.9%). Others, like Italy (6%), lag behind.
- The listed marketplaces cover a wide range of product categories, from fashion and electronics to home improvement and photography.
What to remember when dealing with Germans?
- Punctuality is the key. You’re late, you’ve lost.
- Keep feelings and political opinions to yourself since they can be found offensive by many Germans. While it can be regarded as amazing small talk or ice-breakers in many cultures, it doesn’t work with Germans.
- Speaking German really helps. Of course, the better you speak, the better you are seen, but even basic knowledge can help.
- Straight to the point. Concrete information, details and arrangements. Germans value time more than anything!
FAQ on European Marketplaces
1. What are some of the most popular online marketplaces in Europe?
In Europe, there are several leading online marketplaces that have gained popularity. These include generalist marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, which are known for their extensive range of products and services. Additionally, regional marketplaces like Allegro in Poland and other dedicated websites have a significant market share, catering to the diverse needs of European consumers.
2. Which online marketplace is considered the largest globally, and how does it compare to other online marketplaces?
The largest online marketplace globally is Amazon, known for its vast selection of products and services. It stands out from other online marketplaces due to its global account system, allowing customers to shop online seamlessly across different regions. Its size and reach are much larger compared to other popular online stores and marketplaces.
3. How has the French online marketplace evolved in the European market?
French online marketplaces have evolved significantly, offering a wide array of products, from consumer electronics to fashion. These marketplaces have strengthened their existing online presence, becoming a go-to destination for both local and international businesses. They often provide services like free delivery and self-service registration processes for new merchants.
4. What are the characteristics of a generalist marketplace, and how do they operate in the European market?
A generalist marketplace offers a broad range of products, catering to various consumer needs. In the European market, these marketplaces often feature products from both local and international retailers, offering competitive prices and convenient shopping experiences. They may charge monthly fees or membership fees but often attract a large number of monthly visits due to their extensive product range.
5. Can you describe the online shopping experience in the top online marketplaces?
Shopping in top online marketplaces is characterized by convenience, variety, and efficiency. Customers can browse through an extensive range of products, compare prices, and read reviews before making a purchase. These marketplaces often offer features like a global account system, making it easier for users to shop online across different countries.
6. What is the significance of the twelfth largest online marketplace in terms of total online retail sales?
The twelfth largest online marketplace, while smaller than the leading platforms, still plays a crucial role in total online retail sales. It often serves niche markets or specific regions, providing specialized products and services. These marketplaces contribute significantly to the diversity and competitiveness of the online retail sector.
7. How do online retailers and merchants benefit from selling on popular online marketplaces?
Online retailers and merchants benefit from increased visibility and access to a larger customer base when selling on popular online marketplaces. These platforms often have a well-established customer base, marketing tools, and support systems that help sellers maximize their sales and manage their online store efficiently.
8. What is the process for international businesses to sell online in European marketplaces?
International businesses looking to sell online in European marketplaces typically need to go through a registration process, which may include providing company registration documents and adhering to local regulations. Some marketplaces offer a self-service registration process and support for creating separate translated listings to cater to the diverse European Union market.
9. How do online marketplaces in Europe cater to the needs of both consumers and sellers?
Online marketplaces in Europe cater to consumers by offering an extensive range of products, competitive pricing, and convenient shopping options like free delivery. For sellers, they provide a platform with a significant market share, marketing tools, and support services, helping them reach a wider audience and grow their business.
10. What trends are observed in the total retail sales from online marketplaces in Europe?
The trend in total retail sales from online marketplaces in Europe shows a steady increase, driven by the growing popularity of online shopping and the expansion of these platforms into new markets. The convenience, variety, and competitive pricing offered by these marketplaces continue to attract more consumers and sellers alike.
11. How does the Polish marketplace Allegro distinguish itself as a third-party marketplace in Europe?
Allegro, a prominent Polish marketplace, distinguishes itself by focusing on the specific needs of the Polish market. It operates as a third-party marketplace, offering a platform for various merchants to sell their products. Allegro is known for its user-friendly interface, localized services, and a strong focus on customer satisfaction, making it a key player in the European e-commerce landscape.