This report from the Germany-based online commerce researchers reveals that multi-seller retail platforms now account for about half of online sales, with their share expected to increase in the next few years.
Global online marketplaces like Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten and their competitors accounted for roughly 50% of online retail sales globally last year and that share is forecast to grow to about two-thirds in the next five years. Marketplace dominance is such that many shoppers start their product search at a marketplace, rather than at an all-purpose search engine or retail shop website, according to the report. Alibaba leads the pack of top online marketplace platforms, with over twice the gross merchandise volume of second-place Amazon in 2016.
Asia leads the global trend toward marketplaces. Surveys cited in the report reflect that many shoppers in China, India and Japan made half or more of their online purchases through marketplaces. Shoppers worldwide point to product variety and price as motivators for turning to marketplace options. Though Alibaba and Amazon are the leaders of this trend, the marketplace space is shared by many platforms such as eBay, Etsy, Wish, and Rakuten and others. Further, traditional brick and mortar retailers such as Walmart and Sears are expanding their marketplace options online, and there are various regional and country online retail platforms such as MercadoLibre, Flipkart, Allegro and Jumia contributing to the forecast growth.
Questions Answered in this Report
- How much of global online retail sales was generated on marketplaces in 2017 and what is the projection for 2022?
- What role is played by marketplaces in cross-border E-Commerce?
- Why do online shoppers buy from marketplaces instead of retailer websites?
- What are the leading E-Commerce marketplaces worldwide?
- How much gross merchandise volume is generated on Alibaba's marketplaces compared to Amazon's?
1. Management Summary
2. Global E-Commerce Marketplace Trends
Global: Overview of E-Commerce Marketplace Trends, February 2018
Global: Combined Share of the Top 75 E-Commerce Marketplaces, in % of Retail E-Commerce Sales, 2017e
Global: Marketplace’s Share of B2C E-Commerce Sales, in %, 2016 & 2022f
Global: Share of Online Shoppers Using E-Commerce Marketplaces, in %, May 2017
Global: Platforms Where Online Shoppers Do Product Search, in % of Online Shoppers, August 2017
Global: Share of Domestic and Cross-Border Online Purchases Made on Marketplaces, in %, August 2017
Asia: Share of Online Shoppers Who Make At Least Half of Their Online Purchases via Marketplaces, in % of Online Shoppers, by China, India, Japan and South Korea, August 2017
USA: Third-Party Sellers Share of B2C E-Commerce Sales, in %, 2016
USA: Top Platforms to Begin Product Search, in % of Online Shoppers, 2016 & 2017
USA: Top Reasons To Buy From Online Marketplaces Instead of Retailers, in % of Online Shoppers, Q1 2017
UK: Share of Online Shoppers Using E-Commerce Marketplaces, in %, May 2017
UK: Top Reasons To Buy From Online Marketplaces Instead of Retailers, in % of Online Marketplace Shoppers, May 2017
Germany: B2C E-Commerce Sales on Marketplaces, in EUR billion, and Share of Total B2C E-Commerce Sales, in %, 2015 - 2017
3. Top E-Commerce Marketplaces
Global: Overview of Selected Leading Retail E-Commerce Marketplaces by Region, February 2018
Global: Top E-Commerce Platforms Used in Latest Cross-Border Online Purchase, in % of Cross-Border Online Shoppers, October 2017
Global: Top 5 E-Commerce Marketplaces by GMV, in USD billion, 2016
Profile of Alibaba’s Retail Marketplaces, February 2018
GMV on Alibaba’s Retail Marketplaces in China, by Taobao and Tmall, in CNY billion, FY 2015 – FY 2017
Mobile GMV on Alibaba’s Retail Marketplaces in China, in CNY billion and in % of Total GMV, FY 2015 – FY 2017
GMV of Alibaba’s AliExpress Marketplace, in USD billion, FY 2015 – FY 2017
Profile of Amazon’s Marketplace, February 2018
Amazon’s Net Sales Breakdown, by Online Stores, Physical Stores, Third-Party Seller Services, Subscription Services, AWS and Other, in USD million, and Year-on-Year Change, in %, Q4 2016 – Q4 2017
Share of Units Sold by Third-Party Sellers on Amazon, in % of Total Paid Units Sold on Amazon, Q4 2015 – Q4 2017
Amazon’s Estimated GMV, by First-Party and Third-Party, in USD billion, 2015 – 2023f
Number of Marketplace Sellers on Amazon with More than USD 100,000 in Sales, in thousands, 2015 - 2017
Half of Global Online Retail Sales is Generated on Marketplaces
Online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Tmall and Rakuten, generated around 50% of global E-Commerce sales in 2017, with a projection of two-thirds by 2022, according to sources cited in the report. Eight in ten online shoppers used these platforms in 2017 and two-thirds started their product search on multi-seller websites rather than on the search engines of retail shops.
Asia is the global leader of the marketplace trend. In countries such as China, India and Japan, the vast majority of online shoppers reported making half or more of their Internet purchases on marketplaces, according to data from a 2017 survey contained in the report. In contrast, only around one-third of U.S. B2C E-Commerce sales was generated by third-party merchants via marketplaces. Nevertheless, more U.S. consumers are turning to marketplace shopping, attracted by better prices and free or discounted shipping options. Other marketplace features luring online shoppers in different countries include product availability and variety.
While popularity of marketplaces among global online shoppers is rising, the rivalry between the top online marketplaces is intensifying. In terms of gross merchandise volume, Alibaba was the leading marketplace operator in the world in 2016, generating two times more online sales than Amazon’s retail and marketplace GMV combined, as the publication shows. Nevertheless, Amazon’s marketplace is also growing, with around one in two units sold on Amazon coming from third-party sellers, as of 2017. Besides the two ECommerce giants, other leaders in the global marketplace space include eBay, Rakuten, JD.com, Etsy, and Wish, with numerous regional and country champions such as MercadoLibre, Flipkart, Allegro and Jumia.
- Alibaba Group Holding
- Allegro Group Sp. z oo
- Amazon.com Inc
- ContextLogic Inc.
- eBay Inc
- Etsy Inc.
- Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd.
- JD.com Inc
- Mercadolibre Inc.
- Otto Group
- Rakuten Inc.
- Takealot Online (Pty) Ltd.
- Walmart Inc.