Online marketplaces are attractive sales channels for online merchants. They are often seen as the simplest way to enter new markets and expand into new countries. When doing so, it is essential to consider the characteristics of the different sales platforms. Therefore, knowing about the popularity of the respective solutions can be advantageous for your e-commerce business. Check this list of the top 10 online marketplaces in Italy, to get a concise but informative overview of the state of affairs in Italy in 2023.
Online marketplaces are e-commerce websites that are mainly characterized by 2 factors:
This definition of an online marketplace excludes price comparison sites where no purchase can be made as well as marketplaces for services.
The increasing popularity of such e-commerce platforms is a worldwide phenomenon. Online marketplaces combine the convenience of shopping from home with the product selection of a huge shopping mall. They also make it easier for customers to compare prices. Even though this is not always ideal for sellers, selling via marketplaces is regularly an important part of the sales strategy. This is particularly true because the process is becoming easier and smoother, through cooperation with 3PL companies, for example.
As in most countries worldwide, online marketplaces dominate the e-commerce market in Italy. There are numerous reasons for this. For example, a full 50% of Italians cite a broad product selection as one of the decisive criteria for a good shopping experience.
It won't come as a surprise, then, that Italian e-commerce is dominated by online marketplaces. The biggest slice of the cake is taken by the international top dogs; Amazon and eBay.
Somewhat lagging behind are domestic marketplaces, and various well-known platforms, mainly from other Western countries.
So let's take a look at the top 10 most popular online marketplaces in Italy. The ranking is based on monthly visits in March 2023. The data is retrieved from Similarweb.
In Italy, as in almost all Western countries, Amazon is the undisputed champion among online marketplaces. 175.4 million visits imply that every Italian visits the website of the US giant on average almost 3 times per month (age, internet access, etc. not taken into account). Moreover, this figure does not include visits to Amazon.com from Italy. This makes Amazon.it the fifth most visited site in Italy overall.
The main advantage of Amazon as an online marketplace is obvious and is confirmed by the high number of visitors. Amazon is by far the biggest magnet for visitors and the best-known e-commerce platform in Italy. Buyers trust in its fast and cheap delivery and secure payment methods. As a seller, you should be aware of the advantages of FBA and FBM as fulfillment methods.
With nearly 51.4 million visits per month, eBay is the first runner-up to Amazon, although it is already quite far behind. Nevertheless, the platform is an attractive option for online merchants in many sectors.
Online shoppers place great trust in eBay. As a pioneer in e-commerce, the US online marketplace is a well-known authority in this field. Additionally, the relatively high number of monthly visitors, makes eBay an interesting sales channel in Italy.
Subito.it was founded in Italy in 2007 and is now the leading Italian online marketplace and a wide range of products is offered on the platform. True to its name (subito = immediately), Subito.it tries to position itself as a quick solution for a wide variety of demands.
As Italy's most visited domestic marketplace, the platform has increased popularity among Italian online shoppers. Thus, selling through this marketplace can often support your efforts to expand into Italy.
The Berlin-based e-commerce company Zalando was founded in 2008 and has since become Europe's leading marketplace for fashion. As a Zalando merchant, you are required to have your own website and are obliged to offer free shipping and returns.
The French-based niche marketplace ManoMano ranks second among marketplaces that do not focus on a broad range of products in Italy. Rather, ManoMano is considered a popular stop for merchants as well as buyers in areas such as gardening, household goods, crafts, and DIY. In addition to its strong presence in Italy, the French platform not surprisingly has a strong presence in the French e-commerce market. It is also an established yet growing e-commerce player in countries like, amongst others, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and the UK.
The main advantage of selling on ManoMano is its reputation in its niche. The trust within the community is high and the visitors of the marketplace have on average a stronger purchase intention than for example the visitors of Amazon. In addition to the 8.3 million testimonials on the website, ManoMano has built an expert community called Manodvisors.
Ibs.it is considered a pioneer for e-commerce in Italy and was founded in 1998 as an online bookstore. In 2010, IBS was the first Italian online company to sell e-books. While today many of the products sold are digital, physical books, DVDs, video games, and toys are still sold.
The pioneering role for Italian e-commerce leads to the fact that IBS is perceived as an established Italian online player. So, if you are planning to sell products from this sector in Italy, IBS could be just right for you.
Privalia.com was founded in Barcelona and primarily serves the Italian and Spanish-speaking e-commerce markets. Privalia was acquired by the French online marketplace VeePee (then vente-privee) in 2016 for $560 million. With more than 6 million visits per month in Italy, the online fashion store without a doubt belongs to the relevant group of online marketplaces.
Privalia maintains a good reputation in Italian online retail. Due to significant discounts on branded products, often combined with flash sales, it is considered a good value marketplace. This platform could be just right for you, especially if you want to sell your fashion products in Italy and Spain.
ePrice.it, with 2.0 million visits, is one of the most important national marketplaces in Italy. The products sold are mainly technical or electronic products and household appliances.
Like ibs.it, ePrice.it also benefits from being a domestic solution on the Italian online market. Limited-time discount promotions attract many Italians who are willing to buy from the website.
Etsy is one of the most up-and-coming e-commerce platforms internationally. For example, the niche marketplace leads the chasing pack of top online marketplaces in the UK, behind US giants Amazon and eBay.
Chief Advantage(s) of Etsy:
One of the biggest advantages of Etsy is its collaborative community. In addition, the US American online marketplace has a comparatively transparent price structure.
Ventis.it may have less than one million visits per month, but it is still a relevant sales platform for fashion in Italy. The focus is almost entirely on the domestic market.
It's no secret that selling via online marketplaces is, in many cases, a comparatively easy way to get products onto the screens of numerous online shoppers. When expanding into new markets, this can be a particularly good strategy for gaining a foothold. However, independent online stores have some decisive advantages over Amazon and Co.
These benefits include:
For this reason, in many cases, a combination of independent online stores and additional sales via marketplaces is the best solution.
In many cases, one of the greatest strengths of marketplaces is their logistics setup. Customers can rely on fast shipping allowing retailers to sit back and relax or focus on their core activities. In return, many sellers are willing to give up relatively large parts of revenues and deprioritize their own branding. After all, if you ask customers where they bought a product, most of them answer with "on Amazon" or something similar. Many don't even know that there are thousands of different retailers behind this and so the price becomes the main sales argument.
Fulfillment companies like byrd allow you to outsource your logistics and still put your brand in the spotlight. For example, you can use your own packaging materials or have them branded with your logo and other branding materials, providing unique and memorable unboxing experience. By the way, you can list your products on many online marketplaces and still handle the logistics yourself or outsource it to your fulfillment partners - thus combining the best of both "worlds".
This way you have one contact person and still benefit from multiple sales channels.
byrd has a strong and growing fulfillment network in Europe, which includes fulfillment warehouses in Italy, Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, and Austria. Having access to a pan-European fulfillment network allows you to supply all relevant markets in the EU and beyond quickly and efficiently.