Typically, online marketplaces are e-commerce websites that are mainly characterized by 2 factors:
However, the abovementioned characteristics exclude price comparison sites on which no purchase can be completed. Considering these characteristics and limitations, we are going to, for this article, focus only on the marketplaces that sell physical goods.
Online marketplaces have been gaining popularity for some time. During the pandemic, this trend has further accelerated. By 2023, user penetration reached 81.5% and is anticipated to rise to 83.9% by 2027.
That comes as no surprise, as online shoppers love to shop in these “one-stop” online malls from the comfort of their homes. In 2021, the revenue of the world's largest marketplaces amounted to a total of $5.5 trillion. Europe generated total e-commerce revenues of $634 billion in 2022.
In Germany, too, the popularity of online marketplaces is also gaining serious traction. steadily. This applies to both customers and retailers. Growing supply and demand naturally result in more sales overall.
Compared to other markets, such as the online marketplace landscape in the Netherlands, Germany is primarily characterized by a strong dominance of Amazon. Nevertheless, some strong marketplaces have emerged in recent years that have become the number one national and international shopping destinations in certain niches. One of these is the German fashion marketplace Zalando. Let's take a look at some of the most popular online marketplaces in Germany
The ranking consists of a pre-selection of relevant marketplaces for online retailers in Germany. This was then ranked by visitors in January 2024 according to Similarweb.
Like in most Western countries, Amazon is the absolute top dog in e-commerce in Germany. To be clear; 439.9 million visits refer only to Amazon.de. Visits to Amazon.com are therefore not included here.
Amazon is by far the most well-known marketplace in Europe. Selling through this online marketplace guarantees an attractive number of visitors as well as their trust.
eBay, a global pioneer in online marketplaces, holds a significant position in Germany's e-commerce sector, offering a platform where both individual sellers and businesses can list a vast array of products. From vintage finds and collectibles to the latest in tech and fashion, eBay.de caters to a diverse set of interests and needs, making it a bustling online bazaar for buyers and sellers alike.
As is the case with Amazon, German consumers place a lot of trust in eBay. The online marketplace is one of the pioneers in this field and is known to almost every online shopper. In addition, eBay also has a high monthly number of visitors.
Kleinanzeigen.de (formerly known as ebay-kleinanzeigen.de) is a prominent classifieds platform in Germany, facilitating a local and straightforward approach to buying and selling a wide variety of items, from second-hand goods to cars, real estate, and services. Unlike traditional e-commerce marketplaces, Kleinanzeigen.de emphasizes direct, person-to-person transactions, offering a more personal touch to the online shopping experience.
The main advantage of Kleinanzeigen.de is its community-driven nature, which fosters a sense of trust and safety among its users. The platform encourages local interactions, allowing buyers and sellers to meet in person, inspect items before purchase, and build rapport. This local approach not only simplifies the transaction process but also adds a layer of security by enabling buyers to verify the condition of items firsthand.
Otto is a force to be reckoned with in German online retailing and Europe. The Hamburg-based e-commerce company is the largest B2C online retailer for fashion and lifestyle in Europe and is also among the global leaders in other areas of online shopping.
The marketplace Otto market, however, has some relatively strict criteria to be approved as a seller, which makes it hard for many non-German sellers to be accepted. These include:
Otto is a well-known business name in Germany and is considered the largest domestic alternative to Amazon and eBay. As a result, older German online shoppers, in particular, place their trust in the Otto Group. In addition, sellers on the Otto marketplace can sell under their brand name. Moreover, the clear focus on the German-speaking market can be seen as an advantage if this corresponds to your target market.
Temu made its debut in the United States in September 2022, swiftly becoming the most frequently downloaded app in the country. In March 2023, Temu expanded into several European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. Temu's gross merchandise volume, reflecting total sales before expenses, experienced an extraordinary surge, reaching an impressive $1 billion by June 2023.
Temu stands out as a versatile online marketplace, offering an extensive array of products spanning diverse categories such as fashion, beauty, electronics, home goods, and beyond. A fundamental pillar of Temu's business model revolves around prioritizing affordability for its customers. The platform strategically leverages economies of scale and implements efficient supply chain management practices to deliver a wide range of products at lower and more competitive prices.
Zalando is another German online marketplace that has managed to join the international e-commerce elite. Zalando has become the leading online fashion company in Europe. The turnover of the Berlin-based company has grown by at least 20% annually over the past 10 years. This trend doesn’t seem to stop shortly.
As a Zalando seller, you must have your website and offer free shipping and returns.
In contrast to Otto, shoppers on Zalando tend to be younger, but also more willing to buy. In addition, Zalando serves the fashion niche better than any other European competitor at the moment.
Kaufland.de marks its presence in the German e-commerce landscape as a comprehensive marketplace that extends beyond its roots in physical supermarket chains to offer a wide array of products online. This expansion into the digital space has allowed Kaufland.de to offer everything from groceries to electronics, fashion, and home goods, catering to a broad spectrum of consumer needs.
One of the distinct advantages of Kaufland.de is its broad consumer base. The platform's connection to the Kaufland brand, known for its vast network of supermarkets across Germany, offers an additional layer of trust and recognition among consumers. This association can be particularly advantageous for sellers, as it aligns them with a reputable and established name in the retail sector.
Etsy is the rising star when it comes to self-made products. Especially in the English-speaking world, this niche marketplace is increasingly making a name for itself and leads the field of top online marketplaces in the UK behind Amazon and eBay. Comparably, Etsy is also gaining popularity among German shoppers.
One of the biggest advantages of Etsy is its collaborative community. In addition, this all-American online marketplace has a comparatively transparent price structure.
MediaMarkt.de is a notable player in the German e-commerce scene, particularly known for its focus on electronics and household appliances. Originating from a strong background of physical retail stores, the platform has successfully expanded its reach online, catering to a wide audience interested in technology and electronic goods.
The platform's key advantage lies in its specialization. Unlike more generalized marketplaces, MediaMarkt.de targets a specific market niche, focusing on consumers with a keen interest in electronics. This specialized approach offers sellers the opportunity to reach a more defined audience, potentially leading to higher engagement and sales in the tech category.
Shop Apotheke Europe started in 2001 as the online store of a stationary pharmacy in Cologne. Since 2004, non-prescription drugs can be sold online. In the meantime, the online store has its headquarters in Venlo, in the Netherlands. In addition to medications, the product range also includes beauty products and dietary supplements.
The most obvious advantage of this marketplace is the focus and trust of customers in the pharmaceutical industry. Especially in this sector, online shoppers do not take any risks when buying medicines and other non-prescription health-related remedies.
Online marketplaces are an excellent option to increase e-commerce sales, take the first steps in online commerce or expand into new markets. Nevertheless, running a standalone online store has some advantages over selling on Amazon and the like. These benefits include:
One of the greatest strengths of many marketplaces is having optimized logistics. Amazon in particular has set new standards, from which end customers benefit. At the same time, expectations of fast and cheap or free shipping are rising as a result. This applies to online marketplaces in Germany as well as to online companies and online stores of all sizes.
For most of these companies, it is not feasible to offer a comparable level of e-commerce fulfillment independently and at a cost-covering level.
This is where so-called 3PLs (third-party logistics providers) or simply fulfillment companies come into play. They offer online retailers the opportunity to outsource logistics in order to compete with the “big players” on an equal footing.
Through automated fulfillment processes, from storage, picking, and packing to shipping, everything is done for you. Efficient returns logistics are also taken care of.
In addition, optimized processes ensure that orders are processed immediately and that no time is lost. Shipping millions of parcels give fulfillment companies a relatively large bargaining power over the most popular parcel delivery companies in Germany. Better prices can then be passed on to e-commerce companies.
In addition, 3PL companies like byrd have many different warehouses where you can divide your goods among them. This reduces the shipping distance to your customers, which reduces both shipping time and the impact on the environment. byrd’s fulfillment network is especially relevant for cross-border logistics to minimize proximity to the end customer. Additionally, during seasonal peaks or other bottlenecks (such as during the covid-19 pandemic), you benefit from a resilient supply chain because there is no total shutdown of shipments when one warehouse has to be closed.
Last but not least, with most 3PLs it is also possible to offer individualized packaging and thus stand out from the competition. With customizable packaging, D2C brands can thus leverage one more efficient marketing channel and continue to work on brand building.
byrd makes all of this possible and has a close-knit, high-performance fulfillment network in Germany. In addition, through fulfillment locations in the leading European e-commerce markets, we offer the ability to quickly and easily enter other European countries and fulfill online orders efficiently and easily.