Marketplaces dominate the European e-commerce market. The large share of Chinese third-party sellers on these platforms is already striking, but their staggering turnover will double by 2026.
Out of a total e-commerce turnover of 265 billion euros (excluding travel), marketplaces accounted for 63 % – or 167 billion – in 2022. Marketplaces continue to increase their market share in the European online market: a year earlier this was 59 %, by 2025 it will already be 65 %. These figures come from Cross-Border Commerce Europe, the platform promoting cross-border e-commerce in Europe, which just published its new top 100 international marketplaces active in Europe.
AliExpress is the biggest cross-border marketplace in Europe, with an impressive growth. The ranking (in weighed points, not turnover) remains largely stable, although some scores have changed. Zalando falls out of the top ten and is being replaced by Temu, an ambitious marketplace that connects consumers directly with millions of Chinese sellers (individuals, manufacturers and brands), eliminating retailers as middlemen altogether.
Discounted shipping costs
A very notable trend is that hybrid marketplaces – i.e. platforms that combine proprietary offerings with consumer-to-consumer offerings – are the big winners. By expanding third-party offerings and reducing their own inventory, they can grow faster and keep costs under control. The largest hybrid marketplace is Amazon, which currently has 58 % third-party sellers – by 2025 it should be 65%. Zalando now has 30 % third-party sellers and aims for 50 % by 2025.
Most third-party sellers come from China: their share is already 59 % at Amazon and even 90 % at AliExpress. In 2022, Chinese sellers grossed 189 billion euros on Amazon worldwide, 44 billion euros on AliExpress, 18.4 billion euros on eBay and 11.3 billion euros on Wish. These amounts are expected to double by 2026. Remarkably, Chinese sellers still benefit from discounted shipping costs: a service called ePacket significantly lowers the cost of shipping goods from China to the United States and the European Union.
The 10 largest international marketplaces operating in Europe:
1. AliExpress (China)
2. Etsy (US)
3. Amazon (US)
4. eBay (US)
5. Discogs (US)
6. OLX (Netherlands)
7. Bandcamp (US)
8. Uber Eats (US)
9. Temu (China)
10. Vinted (Lithuania)