Europe: cross-border e-commerce worth €143 billion

September 28, 2020 by
Sanne Leenders
cross-border e-commerce

The total cross-border e-commerce market in Europe represents a turnover of €143 billion in 2019 (excluding travel), according to Cross-Border Commerce Europe. 59% (€84 billion) of the turnover is generated by online marketplaces. 

Amazon has the lion’s share there with a turnover of €32 billion in 2019. Online marketplaces with European capital, led by Vinted, G2A, Farfetch and Zalando represent 11% of market. This percentage grew by 17% compared to 2018. In 2025, online marketplaces will represent 65% of cross-border online sales in Europe.

Top 10 global cross-border marketplaces

The top 10 global cross-border e-commerce marketplaces operating in Europe are:

  1. Amazon (US)
  2. eBay (US)
  3. AliExpress (China)
  4. Etsy (US)
  5. Discogs (US)
  6. Wish (US)
  7. Vinted (Lituania)
  8. G2A (Poland)
  9. Farfetch (UK)
  10. Bandcamp (US)
B2C, C2C & auction marketplaces

Among the top 100 marketplaces, 56% are B2C with Amazon, eBay and AliExpress in the top 3; almost half have their own stock of products. In addition, 68% are “pure” marketplaces that do not sell their products, but only those of third parties like Discogs, Wish, Farfetch and Bandcamp. C2C marketplaces represent 36% of the top 100. This includes Depop, Bump (UK), Hood,, Rebelle (Germany), Delcampe (Belgium), Vestiaire Collective (France) and Marktplaats (the Netherlands). Only 10 percent focus on auctions, like The Salesroom. And 41 percent of marketplaces sell second-hand goods, with Vinted as the clear leader.

By 2025, half of the top 100 marketplaces will be C2C platforms. EBay Europe, leader in this C2C segment is targeting €25 billion and has just celebrated its 25th anniversary at the beginning of September.

Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2025, the sale of second-hand items will be 1.5 times greater than that of fast fashion and will represent 13% of the average wardrobe. Millennials and Gen Z are driving this growth, with 18-37 year-olds buying 2.5 times more than other age groups. The C2C share of used goods will rise from 41% to 50%.

Proposal for new legislation

The European Commission and the European Parliament have published a proposal for new legislation to make online platforms more transparent. New EU rules force online platforms to take several additional steps, including revising their terms and conditions, establishing a data policy and creating a complaint handling system- a helping hand to stimulate sales and purchases on marketplaces.

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