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Key Takeaways from the European Marketplaces 2023 Report [ChannelX]

european marketplaces report by channelx

European marketplaces evolve and change the e-commerce landscape. In order to compete in this arena, online retailers need to know what the different marketplaces look like and how they operate. 

And that’s where The ChannelX helps, along with their report on European Marketplaces 2023.

This report offers an in-depth exploration of this dynamic sector. It:

  • describes top marketplaces in Europe
  • highlights the critical information about this region
  • and shows trends with challenges, and opportunities shaping its future

The insights provided here will equip you with neccessary knowledge about European marketplaces, so take your time and enjoy your reading.

Why Should You Keep an Eye on European Marketplaces?

Well, firstly, the sheer diversity and scale of European marketplaces offer abundant opportunities – from global giants like Amazon and Zalando to niche platforms like ManoMano and Refurbed. Each platform caters to different segments and provides tailored services that meet specific consumer needs. So it’s worth keeping up to date with these platforms to know which one better align with your business, right?

Moreover, with Europe being a hub of digital innovation, many marketplaces are at the forefront of adopting new technologies like AI, blockchain, and advanced analytics. For anyone involved in e-commerce, understanding these trends and technologies as they evolve in Europe can provide strategic insights and competitive advantages.

So, engaging with this dynamic market equips businesses to better navigate the complexities of global e-commerce and taps into a wealth of opportunities that these uniquely positioned marketplaces offer.

What You Need to Know about the European Marketplaces

Marketplaces have become a defining feature of modern e-commerce in Europe. Shoppers are using them more and more as their primary shopping destination.

  • 62% of the largest 100 online retailers are marketplaces. These platforms attract 85% of the web traffic in Eastern Europe.
  • The rise of marketplaces is attributed to their convenience, competitive pricing, variety of choices, and user-friendly delivery options.
  • Marketplaces are also seen as ‘search engines for shopping,’ which enhances their appeal across different age groups, particularly Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z.

Source: European Marketplaces 2023 report from RetailX’s

Marketplaces by Regions

But the adoption rate of marketplaces varies across regions. 

For example, Western Europe is a mature e-commerce market with a high prevalence of marketplaces thanks to early adoption and the influence of North American platforms like Amazon and eBay. Southern and Central Europe have slower marketplace adoption due to cultural preferences for physical retail and brand-led shopping.

Countries like Germany, Ukraine, Austria, Hungary, France, Bulgaria, and Romania lead in marketplace traffic, with over 80% of total web traffic going to marketplaces.

Eastern Europe came late to e-commerce, but has quickly embraced marketplaces, with platforms like Poland’s Allegro leading the way.

On the other hand, Northern Europe, despite high technological penetration, shows lower marketplace adoption because of geographic challenges and high delivery costs. Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland) show lower adoption, with marketplace penetration below 45%.

Source: European Marketplaces 2023 report from RetailX’s

Top Marketplaces in Europe

Top marketplaces in Europe are divided into pure marketplaces and mixed & retailer marketplaces. Here they are.

Pure Marketplace Profiles

The landscape of pure marketplaces – platforms that acts as intermediary between buyers and sellers, without selling any own goods themselves – showcases a diverse and dynamic segment of European e-commerce. They reflect a vibrant ecosystem in where many retailers report turnovers exceeding even €100 million annually.

Among pure marketplace are:

  • Aliexpress
  • Allegro
  • eBay
  • eMag
  • Etsy
  • Fruugo
  • ManoMano
  • OnBuy
  • OTTO
  • Refurbed
  • TikTok Shop
  • Temu
  • Wish 

Let’s see what’s up with them.

AliExpress stands out with a substantial turnover of €119.4 billion in 2022 and draws 20% of Europe’s top 1000 retailers, predominantly in multi-sector and consumer electronics. It shows a noticeable shift towards Asian platforms. This marketplace, however, faces challenges with customer satisfaction score of 2.7 out of 5 on TrustPilot. Unfortunately, this is not a good result and highlights the problem of counterfeit products.

Source: European Marketplaces 2023 report from RetailX’s

Allegro, a powerhouse in Poland and Eastern Europe, boasts 135,000 merchants and 22 million monthly visits. With 30% of Europe’s top 1000 retailers, it emphasizes fashion and electronics, and underscores its role in regional e-commerce landscapes. The dominance of non-Polish retailers, such as those from the UK and US, marks Allegro as a critical gateway for international sellers targeting the Eastern European market.

Source: European Marketplaces 2023 report from RetailX’s

There is also eBay, a veteran in the marketplace sphere. It demonstrates resilience with revenues nearing €10 billion and maintaining a robust seller base that includes 17% of Europe’s top 1000 retailers.

Platforms that are quite new to the European scene, such as Temu and OnBuy, also already have a lot to say. Temu, noted for its extreme price competitiveness, has rapidly expanded across Europe and attracted significant consumer interest with its direct-from-manufacturer model. OnBuy, in contrast, features more than 35 million products and focuses mainly on smaller and medium-sized  sellers by traffic.

Source: European Marketplaces 2023 report from RetailX’s

What about platforms like OTTO, eMag, Fruugo, Wish, Etsy, ManoMano, Refurbed, and TikTok Shop?

  • OTTO, a major player particularly in Germany, generated revenues of approximately $17 billion in 2022, and is connected with 95% of the Top 1000 sellers. 
  • eMag, the marketplace with a growing presence in Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, hosts 31,000 sellers and attracts around 200 million annual visitors. 
  • Fruugo simplifies cross-border selling by translating content and managing tax collection. It operates in 42 countries, handle transactions in 32 currencies, and operates in 28 languages. 
  • Wish, known for its mobile-first approach, connects 250,000 merchants to over 600 million customers globally. 
  • Etsy, renowned for its focus on crafts and unique handmade items, features approximately 4.3 million sellers.
  • With 5,000 sellers, ManoMano has revolutionized the digital DIY market, particularly targeting an older demographic.
  • Refurbed, founded in 2017, has seen a rapid uptake due to increasing consumer interest in sustainable and cost-effective shopping options.
  • TikTok Shop has become a powerful new contender in the marketplace sector by integrating social media engagement with e-commerce.

So as you can see, there’s a lot going on, and no one is about to give up in the competitive battle. 

Mixed & Retailer Marketplace Profiles

Mixed and retailer marketplaces represent a nuanced segment of the European e-commerce landscape, where platforms sell their own products alongside those from third-party sellers. 

This model blends traditional retail with the expansive potential of marketplace dynamics and offers a symbiotic environment for growth and diversification.

Among mixed & retailer marketplaces are:

  • Amazon
  • Boots
  • B&Q
  • Carrefour
  • Cdiscount
  • Decathlon
  • Fnac
  • Leroy Merlin
  • Lidl
  • MediaMarkt
  • Superdrug
  • Zalando

Amazon, as a behemoth in this category, generated €489 billion in 2022, with substantial traffic from across Europe. The platform’s integration of over 10 million sellers, alongside a vast array of products spanning multiple categories, underscores its unparalleled influence on global e-commerce trends.

Source: European Marketplaces 2023 report from RetailX’s, a stalwart in the Dutch and Belgian markets, illustrates the strategic advantage of focusing on local consumer preferences and languages. With €87 billion in revenues,’s model is a testament to the power of regional focus in a globalized world.

Source: European Marketplaces 2023 report from RetailX’s

Cdiscount stands out in France with its rapid growth trajectory. It hosts 13,000 merchants and generates significant traffic from one in four French households monthly.

Source: European Marketplaces 2023 report from RetailX’s

Retailer-driven platforms like Boots and B&Q leverage existing brand strength to expand into new e-commerce territories. Boots, through its marketplace, invites brands to list on its established website. As a result of its high visitor traffic, it expands its product line beyond traditional health and beauty products. B&Q’s DIY-focused marketplace has expanded its product range and shows how traditional retailers can innovate through marketplaces.

And what about Fnac, Carrefour, Decathlon, Media Marrkt, Leroy Merlin, Lidl, Superdrug, and Zalando?

  • Fnac, with  72 million visitors and generated $8 billion in revenues, is the second-largest marketplace in France behind Amazon.
  • Carrefour launched its online food marketplace in 2020. It hosts over 300 SME sellers and offers a diverse range of over 300,000 products.
  • Decathlon leverages its marketplace to offer a broader range of sporting equipment and apparel. It facilitates access to  200,000 products from around 1,500 brands.
  • Media Markt, as of the end of July 2023, already had around 1,060 third-party resellers, with a total of nearly 1.2 million products.
  • Leroy Merlin’s marketplace extends its product range beyond traditional DIY tools and materials. In 2022, it reached a turnover of €9.8 billion.
  • Lidl has experimented with online marketplace features, particularly in regions like Spain, in order to expand its typical inventory, including electronics and household items.
  • Superdrug is health and beauty retailer in the UK, which has integrated a marketplace approach to include more diverse health, wellness, and cosmetic products.
  • Zalando has transformed into one of Europe’s leading fashion and lifestyle marketplaces. It showcases products from over 2,000 brands and drives engagement with sales across multiple demographics.

Technology & Strategic Partnerships for Marketplace Success

How do businesses not only survive but thrive in such a competitive space? The answer lies in effectively harnessing cutting-edge technologies and entering strategic partnerships.

Consider this: technology stands at the heart of every successful online marketplace. It facilitates streamlined operations and an enhanced customer experience. For instance, with robust data analytics platforms, your business can:

  • decipher vast amounts of consumer data,
  • tailor experiences, 
  • predict trends, 
  • make informed decisions,
  • enable smooth transactions,
  • and provide robust cybersecurity measures.

All of this is so essential for maintaining trust and integrity in the digital sphere.

Further, strategic partnerships extend a marketplace’s capabilities beyond its core competencies. 

Thanks to collaborating with technology providers, logistics companies, or even other marketplaces, you can offer a wider range of services and access new markets. Often, these alliances produce synergies that none of the partners could achieve alone. Also, by partnering with local delivery services, a marketplace can ensure faster delivery times.

So, why is it crucial to focus on these aspects? 

Well, the marketplace environment becomes more saturated. But the differentiation provided by advanced technological integration and strategic partnerships can set a business apart.

The real question is: are you prepared to invest in technology and seek the right partnerships to propel themselves forward? 

After all, in a world where digital is the norm, staying ahead means staying relevant. Don’t you think?

Future Trends for European Marketplaces

According to ChannelX report, we can highlight some promising trends for the future.

For example, European marketplaces can move towards niche and vertical marketplaces. As a result, specialized products and services will get dedicated spaces. Also, such marketplaces will likely attract a distinct segment of consumers looking for items that may not be readily available on generalist platforms. 

What’s more, the integration of AI-powered recommendations will show its big role in the enhancement of customer experiences across these digital platforms. Artificial intelligence will enable marketplaces to offer personalized shopping experiences at scale and present users with products that are perfectly aligned with their tastes and purchasing history. 

Such a level of personalization isn’t a luxury but a necessity nowadays. And by leveraging sophisticated algorithms, marketplaces can enhance their appeal and drive both customer retention and acquisition.

We can see some opportunities in the future, but… challenges are there too.

European retailers face significant competition from non-European giants like Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress. They dominate with extensive product ranges, advanced logistical networks, and strong brand recognition. But, retailers from this region could use the aforementioned platforms to reach a broader audience effectively and capitalize on their vast reach.

Over to You

European marketplaces have a lot to offer and can boost your online success. So if you haven’t taken advantage of them yet, wake up now so you won’t be left behind in the future. 

Here’s where the key takeaways from the European Marketplaces 2023 report come in handy.

Retailers that adapt to these dynamics by exploring innovative marketplace models and harnessing new technologies will likely find themselves well-positioned to thrive in the evolving digital landscape.

Interested? If so, what are you waiting for?

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