In Europe, the e-commerce market is worth over $400 billion in revenue, with an expected annual growth rate of 7.3%. According to experts, in 2022 the volume of the European market will be more than 500 billion dollars.This is a lot considering the fact that there are 50 different countries in Europe, people speak more than 200 languages and more than 28 currencies are used.
At the same time, it is clear that most of all activity in the online trading market takes place in just three European countries: the UK, Germany and France. However, the list also includes European marketplaces that are leading or growing in some other parts of the Old World.
General situation in the European online sales market
The European Union (excluding the UK) is the third largest e-commerce market in the world behind only America and China. Amazon and eBay continue to lead the market in continental Europe, as well as in the US and UK. If you look beyond them, you can see a huge number of alternative online platforms: all of these are European marketplaces of various sizes.
While Amazon and eBay sell across Europe as a whole, most local players are focused on just one country or a small number of closely related neighboring countries. It seems that when it comes to e-commerce, a significant part of the market in Europe is divided along the old geographic and linguistic lines, despite the single currency, open borders and thousands of common rules.
“eBay cannot be classified as a classic marketplace like Amazon, since some of the goods there are sold by private sellers using the auction model. On the other hand, a large part of the assortment is sold there according to the same scheme as on Amazon, Zalando and other analogues.”
These differences extend to the overall growth of online shopping in Europe. In Europe as a whole, Internet retail accounts for 16.2% of total retail. In Germany, this figure is 19.9%, and in Italy – only 6% – that is, less than a third of Germany’s share. Online shopping has become popular in some European countries, but differences in payment systems, delivery networks, culture and language mean that others are far behind.
On this page you will find detailed information about the most popular trading platforms in Europe. Individual online stores are not going anywhere. But an increasing number of small and medium-sized retailers are joining these platforms to better reach their target audience. Many of these stores end up being bought by one of the Amazon store acquisition companies. Many consumers no longer even search for a product on Google, they just go to their favorite marketplace and start searching there.
In the UK, local Amazon is the most popular shopping choice. And in general, it must be said that Amazon, and to be precise, its national divisions in total (British, French, German, etc.) is the largest marketplace in Europe. As for England, there are also 2 big local players there that are a popular destination for both online shoppers and retailers.
Initially, Fruugo comes from Finland (more about Finnish online stores with delivery to Russia and the CIS countries). But the marketplace, founded in 2006, is now a British company. The platform operates in 46 countries around the world. Retailers only pay when they make a sale, so there are no membership or subscription fees. https://www.fruugo.co.uk/
UK-based marketplace OnBuy launched in November 2016 and offers a platform where it doesn’t sell anything itself (“and we never will,” they promise). The website brings together over 3,000 sellers and 8 million buyers and requires a 5-9% sales fee and a 1.9-3.4% PayPal payment fee. https://www.onbuy.com/
In Germany, the German branches of eBay and Amazon are very popular. But it is also home to large local marketplaces.
Supermarket chain Real has merged with online marketplace Kaufland.de to become the 3rd largest online marketplace in Germany. With 19 million monthly visitors, real.de (when you visit it will redirect you to Kaufland) hosts more than 12 million products. On Real.de, sellers must pay a subscription fee of 39.95 euros each month and a percentage depending on the product category. https://www.real.de , https://www.kaufland.de/
Marketplace Otto is one of the largest German e-commerce companies.
This online hypermarket has over 1.8 million items from around 7,000 brands. It operates not only in Germany, but also in more than 20 other countries, most of which are in Europe. Merchants who wish to sell products through Otto’s online marketplace must pay a one-time registration fee of €10,000, with commission rates ranging from 15% to 50%. A lot, but there is no monthly fee. https://www.otto.de/
The German marketplace Zalando has become one of the most popular marketplaces in Europe. Initially, it worked as an online fashion store selling items of various brands, but over time it turned into a marketplace. As of 2021, its divisions operate in 15 European countries. Brands that wish to sell their products through Zalando should be aware that products from categories other than apparel, footwear, sportswear and equipment, and accessories are not accepted. In other words, electronics, for example, cannot be put there. In addition, partners must offer free returns guaranteed for 100 days. https://zalando.de/
Other marketplaces in Germany to keep in mind: Yatego, DeWanda.
France is one of the top three countries in Europe with the most developed online commerce and marketplaces. Not only Amazon (whose homeland, we recall – the United States) has a large market share, but local platforms are also very popular.
The French marketplace Cdiscount was founded in 1998 and started as an online store selling technology and consumer goods. Today, the Cdiscount marketplace has 12,000 merchants and about 9 million active customers. Every month, 20 million people view over 63 million product card pages. Sellers must pay €39.99 per month plus sales commissions, depending on the type of item sold (5% or more). https://www.cdiscount.com/
Conforama is one of the largest European furniture and home furnishings retail chains. It was founded in 1967 as a regular chain of stores. Today it has offline stores in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Luxembourg and Turkey. In 2016, the marketplace of the same name was opened.
Conforama provides about 1.5 million active offers of various products on the marketplace. It has an average of 4.4 million visitors per month (as of 2018). Sellers do not pay a monthly fee; The commission depends on the category of the product and depends on the selling price of the product plus shipping costs. https://www.conforama.fr/
French marketplaces Fnac and Darty (the latter acquired by Fnac in 2016) are a combined electric retail company. In 2014, Fnac launched its own marketplace, where it sells both its own products and an assortment from third-party suppliers. Fnac and Darty have 36 million active customers and are a leader in high-tech, appliances and home goods not only in their home country but also among marketplaces in Europe as a whole. The monthly subscription price for merchants is €39.99, plus sales commission. Sellers can register on Darty and/or Fnac. https://www.fnac.com/ , https://www.darty.com/
French retailer La Redoute, founded in 1837, is a retailer of clothing and home decor items. More than 7 million visitors enter the online store every month. It works in 26 countries of the world, there is delivery to Russia and the CIS. More than 450 third-party merchants are connected to the La Redoute marketplace, paying €49 per month plus sales commissions (between 8% and 20%). https://www.laredoute.fr/
Rue du Commerce, founded in 1999, is a relatively small French marketplace specializing in consumer electronics. In terms of rating and popularity, it is somewhat inferior to other analogues. From 2016 to 2019 he was part of Carrefour, a large French supermarket chain. There is no fee for registering or listing products, but sellers must pay 40 euros per month. There is also a commission on sales depending on the product category. https://www.rueducommerce.fr/
The list of European marketplaces is continued by companies from the Netherlands. Despite the fact that the influence of large players from America (Amazon, eBay, etc.) is growing there, their own companies also continue to play an important role.
The Dutch marketplace Bol.com, which started as a Bertelsmann project, has been the largest marketplace in the Netherlands for many years and is gaining popularity in Belgium. This is partly due to the thousands of merchants who have joined the platform and offer some 16 million items. There are no monthly fees or registration costs, but sellers must pay a commission for each item they sell through Bol.com. The commission is from 5% to 17% depending on the category. https://www.bol.com/
The Dutch marketplace Beslist.nl started out as a price comparison system but can now be considered an online marketplace. The marketplace website attracts around 4 million visitors each month and does not require a monthly sale fee. Sellers must pay a commission on the item sold, ranging from 1% to 15%. https://www.beslist.nl/
Other marketplaces from the Netherlands to keep in mind are Blokker, VidaXL and FonQ.
Belgian e-commerce is gradually becoming more mature and less dependent on foreign retail sites. Although the Dutch Bol.com is a very popular online shopping platform among Belgian consumers, the country still has a lot to offer in its own market.
The Belgian marketplace Storesquare was once a very powerful platform, but after 2019 it has slowed down somewhat. However, it allows 500 suppliers to sell a total of 1 million items. Retailers do not pay registration fees, but must pay a commission for each product sold (between 5% and 15%). They also need to pay a transaction fee of €1 per order. https://storesquare.be/
The Belgian marketplace Vanden Borre is a multi-channel online consumer electronics retailer based in Belgium. It is visited by about 10 million visitors every month, who are mainly looking for audio products, televisions, multimedia and consumer electronics. Selling on Vanden Borre requires a monthly sale fee of €39.99 and a commission for each product sold ranging from 8% to 14%. https://www.vandenborre.be/
In Italy, international players have a great influence on the local e-commerce market. When we look at Italian e-commerce companies that also have a presence abroad, they are mostly fashion stores.
In 2015, the Italian online store ePrice opened its trading platform. Third party sellers pay a €29 subscription fee and a 5% to 8% commission on transactions only, depending on the product category. Subscriptions can be canceled at any time without any commitment to duration. https://www.eprice.it/
Online stores and marketplaces in Sweden are often a popular shopping destination for consumers, including those from neighboring Scandinavian countries. But local buyers love domestic marketplaces.
Fyndiq is a popular marketplace from Sweden. In 2015, the company tried to expand into Germany, but closed its German office less than a year later. Sellers can apply for a free account with no monthly or registration fees. “The only thing you want is good quality products at the lowest price and you must be a seller from outside of Europe” is their policy. Fyndiq attracts 2 million visitors every month. Today there are about 1700 active sellers registered there. https://fyndiq.se/
Clothing on European marketplaces is not sold as often as electronics, household appliances or home and garden products.
Swedish marketplace Cdon started in 1999 as an online CD store. Now it is the largest department store in Scandinavia, with marketplace features. Independent sellers must display the same prices on the Cdon Marketplace as they would on their own online store. Lower prices are also allowed. https://cdon.se/
The Swedish marketplace Tradera is a popular online platform and classifieds site. Retailers who want to sell their products through Tradera get their own landing page. More than 3,000 companies have already joined the sales. The commission varies from 5% to 8% of the sale price. The price of the seller’s subscription fee per month depends on how many advertisements were placed. https://www.tradera.com/
Poland is not yet a mature e-commerce market, but it does have one big e-commerce company, Allegro. It is by far the most popular marketplace in Poland, which also has many foreign customers from other countries.
The Polish marketplace Allegro was founded in 1999 as an online auction site. For years, it was part of the renowned South African e-commerce group Naspers, but in October 2016, Naspers sold it to an alliance of investor funds. Over 125,000 SME merchants and retailers have signed up to sell over 1 million items in total. Sellers are allowed to sell new, refurbished, as well as used items. They need to pay a listing fee, a sales commission and a percentage of all commissions, depending on the number of successful sales. https://allegro.pl/
Ceneo was founded in 2005 and is currently the second largest online marketplace in Poland. The platform is actually a price comparison service that features products from 18,000 online stores, but users can shop for these products using a virtual shopping cart. There is no monthly fee, but sellers must pay a commission, which differs for each product category. https://www.ceneo.pl/
Portugal is also not the most mature and popular market for e-commerce and marketplace sales in Europe, but it does have some interesting local players. Perhaps local players have been able to develop well for the reason that Amazon does not yet have an official division here.
Worten Online is a very popular marketplace from Portugal. The company started as an electronics retailer (the first store opened in 1996) but has evolved into an online marketplace. Worten allows third party merchants to sell their products on the platform. In June 2019, the Portuguese company also launched a similar website Worten.es in Spain. https://www.worten.pt/
Dott is another major representative of this industry from Portugal. It offers thousands of products divided into 17 categories. Established in 2018, the e-commerce platform delivers orders at home to customers and through more than 1,500 delivery locations across the country. Dott is part of Grupo CTT which operates as Portugal’s national postal service and is also a commercial group with subsidiaries active in industries such as banking and e-commerce. https://dott.pt/
BuyinPortugal.pt is a B2B e-commerce site. This facilitates sales by SMEs from Portugal to buyers from all over the world (to some extent, the local analogue of Alibaba). The company says their mission is to make it easy to do business with Portuguese brands and retailers. All sellers on the platform are legally registered companies, all licenses and contact persons are verified. https://buyinportugal.pt/
In some respects, Switzerland is quite self-sufficient. This also applies to Swiss e-commerce. The industry has a good mix of foreign and local companies from the sector. According to a study by ZHAW and HWZ, about 35% of online stores additionally use marketplaces to increase sales.
The Swiss marketplace Ricardo is a very popular online trading platform. It was founded in 1999 and soon grew into a major online store. The marketplace allows its 2.3 million members to buy and sell both used and new items. Listing items on Ricardo is free, but sellers must pay a 9% commission on each sale. https://www.ricardo.ch/
Other very popular online stores and marketplaces in Switzerland are Digitec.ch and Galaxus.ch, which are part of Digitec Galaxus AG. Both online platforms offer a wide range of products. At the same time, Digitec is clearly focused on everything related to consumer electronics, and Galaxus can be considered as a one-stop shop on the Internet, selling everything from clothes and shoes to household goods. Retailers who wish to sell through this platform do not pay any basic fees, but must pay a commission for each item sold. For sellers from the European Union, Galaxus offers special functionality for customs clearance. https://www.digitec.ch/ , https://www.galaxus.ch/
Romania is a country in the southeast of Europe. Consumers shop on overseas sites like Amazon and Aliexpress but also like to shop online from local players like Altex, OLX and eMAG.
The Romanian marketplace eMAG is the largest online store in its country. In 2015, this e-commerce company expanded by opening a site in Poland. She currently has online stores in Romania, Poland and Hungary. Retailers only need to pay for the items sold and can rely on marketing support from eMAG. As of the beginning of 2020, about 16,000 partner stores are connected to the marketplace, which features more than 4.4 million products. The site attracts about 500 thousand visitors daily. https://www.emag.ro/
The Romanian marketplace Cel.ro is an online store operated by Corsar Online. Today, about 400 thousand products have been added to the site. Third party retailers can register for free. https://www.cel.ro/
The Czech Republic has one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in Europe. For the period 2017-2021. compound annual growth of 16% was projected. This is partly due to the growing popularity of marketplace trading platforms, both European and national.
The Czech marketplace Heureka claims to be the largest e-commerce platform in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe. The marketplace has several price comparison services such as Ceneje, Jeftinije, Heureka, and Compari. Heureka was founded in 2007 and has over 150 million product offerings. The website not only offers a price comparison, but also the ability to shop directly from Heureka.
If a customer buys something from a connected store through a shopping cart, Heureka charges the merchant a commission on purchases. This amount varies and depends on the name of the product category. https://www.heureka.cz/
Marketplaces in Europe are playing an increasingly important role, and their market share will only grow. In addition to global players, many local trading platforms also successfully operate in European countries.