Biggest online marketplaces in the world

What are the biggest online marketplaces in the world?

The world’s biggest online marketplaces are on an rapid upward trajectory. In fact, according to a 2019 report, 50% of all eCommerce sales take place on online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

Marketplaces contribute $1.7 trillion to the global economy each year and European advisory firm iBe predicts this will increase to $7 trillion by 2024. In the US, Amazon alone accounts for an estimated 44% of the country’s eCommerce market share.

So, if you’re an online seller looking to increase sales, getting set up on a new marketplace is a great way to boost exposure. You may even want to expand into new territories. With more than 100 online marketplaces around the globe, let’s take a look at some of the best.

1. Amazon

Amazon

Who: We all know Amazon is the largest eCommerce retailer in the US, but it also runs some of the biggest online marketplaces in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. In total, the company runs 16 marketplaces which offers sellers access to consumers around the world.
What: Electronics, clothing, beauty, baby products, jewelry, entertainment, home goods, appliances, sporting equipment and pretty much everything!
When: First launched in 1994.
Where: The US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, India, Australia, Singapore, the UAE and Turkey.
How much: You have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99, and an Amazon referral fee of 6-20% on each item you sell. Media products also incur an additional closing fee.
Customer profile: Around the world, 197 million people visit Amazon each month.
Key requirements for sellers: Excellent eCommerce customer service is required. You also need a valid credit card, bank account, phone number and tax information to get started. To sell in Europe, you’ll also require a VAT number.
Recent updates: Amazon recently began screening new merchants via video calls. This is due to fears of fraud during the Covid-19 crisis.

2. PayPay Mall

PayPay Mall

Who: Yahoo Japan launched PayPay Mall in 2019 and it has already become the world’s second largest marketplace.
What: It sells clothing, jewelry, beauty products, home goods, electronics and sporting goods.
When: Founded in 2019.
Where: PayPay Mall serves customers living in Japan.
How much: The PayPay Mall’s listing fee is 3%.
Customer profile: According to SimilarWeb, PayPay Mall receives 2.3 billion visits monthly.
Key requirements for sellers: Yahoo has said delivery and customer service will be key metrics for sellers, so they’ll have to perform to a high standard on this front.
Recent updates: In October 2019, Yahoo Japan also launched PayPay Flea market for secondhand items. PayPay Mall is also linked with Yahoo! Shopping and products appear there too.

3. eBay

eBay

Who: eBay started out as a marketplace for second hand items. Now, it is a household name known across the world for selling both new and used products.
What: Electronics, toys, clothing, beauty, entertainment, home goods, sporting equipment, pet supplies collectibles and antiques.
When: Founded in 1995.
Where: eBay runs 23 international marketplaces which serve over 100 countries worldwide.
How much: It charges a flat fee of $0.30 to publish each listing and takes a percentage of each sale – usually 10%. Businesses that open an eBay storefront will be charged a monthly subscription fee too.
Customer profile: In March 2020, eBay had 174 million active buyers worldwide. In the US alone, it has 100 million visitors monthly.
Key requirements for sellers: Anyone can start selling on eBay easily. Too many late shipments or product defects can result in account suspension however.
Recent updates: eBay just launched its new ‘Managed payments’ feature which will allow sellers to manage tax, fees and payments in one place. It can be used to avoid third-party processing fees and offer customers extra payment options.

Related article: How to Sell on eBay

4. Mercado Libre

Mercado Libre

Who: Mercado Libre is the leading marketplace in South America. Sellers in the US and China can use Mercado Libre’s partner carriers to ship here.
What: It sells electronics, clothing, home goods and garden accessories.
When: Founded in 1999.
Where: Mercado Libre operates in 18 Latin American countries. Its cross-border trade program lets sellers reach customers in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia with a single account.
How much: The platform takes 16-17.5% of each sale.
Customer profile: In 2019, it had 321 million users.
Key requirements for sellers: Merchants are screened and need to be in business at least a year and have monthly sales of $100,000 to guarantee approval.
Recent updates: Mercado Libre plans to open three new fulfillment centers, so more sellers will use its fulfillment services.

5. AliExpress

AliExpress

Who: A household name, AliExpress comes in fifth among the world’s biggest online marketplaces. It was originally set up to sell the products of Chinese small businesses.
What: Everything from clothing and electronics, to home goods, jewelry, toys and pet supplies.
When: Launched in 2010.
Where: AliExpress’ global eCommerce platform serves people in over 190 countries.
How much: Depending on the product category, AliExpress takes between 5-8% from each sale.
Customer profile: In 2019, a staggering 211 million active members used AliExpress.
Key requirements for sellers: Sellers must have a limited company registered in China.
Recent updates: AliExpress is working on plans to open up its marketplace to European brands so they can reach customers in Italy, Spain, Russia and Turkey.

Related article: Alibaba vs AliExpress: which platform is best for dropshipping

6. Rakuten

Rakuten

Who: As one of the biggest online marketplaces globally, Rakuten is great for medium to large sellers who want to grow their audience outside of the US and Canada.
What: It sells electronics, clothing, jewelry, beauty and entertainment.
When: Around since 1997.
Where: It is the biggest eCommerce site in Japan, but also operates in the US and 27 other countries around the world.
How much: Rakuten’s US site charges a subscription fee of $39 per month, as well as 8-15% on each sale and a flat fee of $0.99.
Customer profile: The number of users has consistently grown since 2014 and currently stands at 111 million.
Key requirements for sellers: Sellers must have a registered business and a brand name for their storefront.
Recent updates: Shopify is now allowing users in Japan and the US to run stores on Rakuten’s Japanese marketplace through the Shopify admin panel.

7. Taobao

Taobao

Who: TaoBao is the biggest marketplace in China and caters to businesses and consumers who want to sell stuff online. It offers users both fixed-price and auction-style listings.
What: It sells electronics, home goods, office supplies, clothing, jewelry, beauty, entertainment, toys, groceries and everything else you can think of.
When: It was set up in 2003 by the Alibaba Group.
Where: Mainland China, as well as other Chinese-speaking places like Hong Kong and Taiwan.
How much: Taobao doesn’t charge any commission fees. But its sister site Tmall, which is designed for bigger brands, charges commission fees of 2-5%.
Customer profile: Over 500 million people visit Taobao each month.
Key requirements for sellers: Anyone can sell almost anything – it auctioned off an entire toothpaste company in 2019.
Recent updates: Taobao has been encouraging traditional retailers to join its marketplace and has just announced updates to its livestreaming channel, which will help them engage with consumers online.

8. Walmart

Walmart

Who: Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and is now also one of the world’s biggest online marketplaces. It holds a 7% share in the US eCommerce market.
What: It offers electronics, clothing, beauty, entertainment, home goods, appliances, sporting equipment and groceries.
When: The marketplace was set up in 2009.
Where: The USA and Canada.
How much: Sellers pay a referral fee of 6-20% on each sale. There is no monthly subscription fee.
Customer profile: Walmart offers access to 142 million monthly visitors from customers across the United States and Canada.
Key requirements for sellers: Sellers must apply to sell on the marketplace. You must have an established reputation, as well as a warehouse and business registered in the USA.
Recent updates: Walmart recently rolled out self-serve product ads for its sellers.

Related article: How to sell on Walmart: The Step-by-Step Guide

9. Etsy

Etsy

Who: Etsy is a niche American marketplace focused on selling handmade products, vintage items and craft supplies.
What: Art, jewelry, clothing, home decor, toys, art, craft supplies and tools.
When: 2005.
Where: Available in 36 countries, including the US, Australia, Singapore and much of Europe.
How much: Etsy charges a listing fee of $0.20 and 5% of each sale.
Customer profile: In 2019, Etsy had over 46 million active buyers.
Key requirements for sellers: Craft supplies, tools and party supplies are the only newly manufactured items allowed.
Recent updates: Etsy just launched ‘risk-free’ advertising; it pays to promote seller products and only charges a fee when a conversion occurs.

10. Shopee

Shopee

Who: Shopee is South-East Asia’s most popular marketplace. With frequent updates, it aims to tailor its platform to suit local users.
What: Shopee sells electronics, clothing, beauty, home goods, pet supplies, sporting equipment and toys.
When: Founded in 2015.
Where: Shopee was first launched in Singapore before expanding to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brazil.
How much: When it launched, Shopee charged no listing fees or commission. However, in 2019, it began to introduce some in Taiwan and Vietnam, charging 3-5% on each B2C sale.
Customer profile: 260 million consumers visit Shopee each month.
Key requirements for sellers: Anyone can set up on Shopee under a brand name or their own name, you just need a bank account.
Recent updates: Shopee just teamed up with P&G to build a new ‘Show Me My Home’ feature. It categorizes products by room and aims to help consumers in South-East Asia experience items in their home before making a purchase.

11. Allegro

Allegro

Who: Allegro is one of the best European marketplace alternatives to Amazon and eBay and the most popular in Poland. In February, it reached the global top ten of eCommerce sites.
What: Home goods, kitchenware, clothing, baby products and sporting goods.
When: Established in 1999.
Where: Eastern Europe.
How much: It won’t cost anything to get started, but Allegro takes a percentage of each item sold. It also charges sellers who highlight listings or add more than one product photo.
Customer profile: The website receives 214 million monthly visits.
Key requirements for sellers: You must ensure your product listings are written in Polish.
Recent updates: Last year, the marketplace launched Allegro Smart! – a delivery membership program like Amazon Prime.

Related article: Selling on Allegro – Europe’s 5th largest marketplace

12. Zalando

Zalando

Who: Berlin-based Zalando is one of the biggest online marketplaces in Europe and the most popular fashion one on the planet!
What: Clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children.
When: Established since 2008. 
Where: Popular in 17 European countries, including France, Italy and Germany.
How much: Zalando takes 8% of each sale.
Customer profile: Zalando’s customer base has grown steadily since 2014. By the end of 2019, it had 31 million active users – nearly five million more than the previous year.
Key requirements for sellers: To join, sellers must have their own brand and online presence. They must also offer free returns, delivery and a 100-day return policy.
Recent updates: Zalando has moved its focus to sustainable fashion and noted that 30% of purchases in early 2020 were of sustainable items.

13. Newegg

Newegg

Who: Based in the US, Newegg is a tech focused marketplace targeting B2B sales. It is well-known for its detailed product information and how-tos.
What: It offers electronics, computer hardware, software, as well as clothing, beauty, baby products and sporting goods.
When: Since 2001.
Where: Qualified sellers can list products across Asia, the Middle East, the UK, Latin America and North America to reach consumers in 80 countries.
How much: Newegg charges 8-15% on each sale and you can get a free monthly membership. However, if you have a paid subscriptions, you’ll be eligible for benefits such as their eCommerce marketing programs. It also offers a “price-conscious” fulfillment service to sellers.
Customer profile: With over 30 million monthly users, it is the 9th most popular electronics website in the world. Tech-savvy males aged 18-35 make up most of Newegg’s audience.
Key requirements for sellers: Anyone can apply to sell on Newegg but merchants must meet high operational standards so a proven track record is best.
Recent updates: In 2019, Newegg expanded its Bitcoin payment scheme to customers in 75 countries.

14. Jet

Jet

Who: Jet is an American marketplace, which was bought by Walmart in 2016. It focuses on value and uses an algorithm to reduce checkout totals when products can be shipped together.
What: Groceries, electronics, toys, clothing, beauty, home goods and baby products.
When: Founded in 2014.
Where: The USA
How much: Jet takes 8-15% of each sale.
Customer profile: It has just 1.3 million visitors each month, but a repeat buyer rate of 23%. Jet’s audience is largely made up of thrifty, urban-dwelling millennials.
Key requirements for sellers: Jet’s algorithm requires precise product data so several checks are necessary before going live.
Recent updates: Walmart is integrating Jet’s retail, marketing and product teams with its own so changes will be coming down the line soon.

Final thoughts

Extending your reach around the world is surprisingly easy when you use online marketplaces. Whether you want to gain customers in Europe, Asia or the US, using some of the world’s biggest online marketplaces is a great way to get in front of new audiences and, ultimately, boost sales.

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