The German marketplace Otto aims to expand into the EU

April 15, 2024 by
Frank Calviño

Otto aims to expand its marketplace offering within the EU. The German distance-selling icon announced this alongside its annual financial results. In the fiscal year 2023/2024, Otto’s revenue decreased by 8 percent to 4.2 billion euros. 

This performance was “still well above market comparison,” Otto says, referring to figures from the Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland (bevh), which noted an 11.8 percent decline and described 2023 as a “low point” for e-commerce in Germany.

In its press release, Otto highlights the positive development of Gross Merchandising Value (GMV), which increased by 2 percent to 6.5 billion euros. “The slight increase in Otto’s platform sales, despite the ongoing crisis atmosphere in retail, makes us cautiously optimistic,” says CEO Marc Opelt. He previously referred to the platform model as the “key growth engine” of the online department store.

Otto bets its expansion on ‘marketplace partner alliances’ 

Otto expanded the number of marketplace partners by 33% to over 6,500 during 2023. Together, they accounted for one-third of the revenue on the shopping platform. Despite the long and growing distance in terms of revenue on Amazon, Otto claims it is “very well positioned” with German marketplace sellers. “Now we are preparing to open it up to European marketplace partners.” 

Initially, Otto will connect warehouses of German marketplace sellers in other European countries to its platform. Starting next year, marketplace participants from other European Union member states can also offer their products on Otto’s platform. Currently, a German VAT number is required for this.

How will sellers be selected? 

Opelt indicates that Otto has deliberately chosen the European perspective: “We rely on products that meet the highest quality and sustainability standards. Therefore, we carefully select who may sell their goods on our marketplace – and who may not. In the future, cheaply produced disposable items will also not play a role in Otto’s business model.”

‘We carefully select who can sell on Otto, and who cannot.’

From summer onwards, Otto will open its marketplace to additional product categories, including dietary supplements and energy technology.

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