335 Online Marketplaces in Europe

August 4, 2016 by
Janine Nothlichs

Online marketplaces are a booming phenomenon. Next to selling their own retail assortment, many larger retailers have even chosen to open up their platforms for third-party sellers, e.g. Amazon, Bol.com, Zalando, ASOS. In Europe alone, there are 335 online marketplaces actively selling to customers. This is evident from a study “Marketplaces across Europe” by the German Federal Association of Online-Trade (BVOH) and p.digital which was released earlier this year.

Germany counts 60 online marketplaces,there are 30 in France, Italy has 24 and the Netherlands and Spain have 18 each.

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The 335 online marketplaces are operated by 74 different companies and offer either a full range of different goods or specialize in one category, such as fashion, wine or weapons.

The mechanisms used by the operators are highly variable. This is where most marketplaces differ significantly from their competitors. There are open and closed marketplaces. In the open version, traders can register themselves at the marketplace while with the closed type the operator decides who may or may not be included. Online marketplaces also differ significantly from one another in the type of transaction (immediate sale, auction, listing/classified ad). This has a particular bearing on whether the transaction – the change of ownership – is carried out directly on the marketplace or only on delivery of the goods.

The type of operation is of particular importance. Whether the marketplace is operated by an actual trader (Amazon, Otto, Pixmania, Zalando) or by an operator acting as an intermediary (Allyouneed, eBay, Rakuten), online marketplaces can provide the right offer for every customer. A service which is made use of more and more.

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