Everyone knows eBay and Amazon, the two biggest platforms for retailers to sell through in Europe as a whole, and you should definitely analyse the opportunity of selling on these (in fact I’d just start listing!), but there is a huge range of other marketplaces (335 in The Federal Association of Online-Trade’s last count) that are worth checking out to see if they are a good fit for you and your products.
You should think about it quite seriously of course. When opening a new channel it’s not just the initial set up that can be a pain and take time but they also then need to be maintained, synchronised with your domestic inventory, updated regularly and adapted to selling on platform if you want all that work to pay off. Often your listing tool or ecommerce platform would do this work for you, if you’re not using one now you should review these too, but when working with some of the more obscure and country specific marketplaces they may not help.
Living in Poland as I do at the moment I’ve been watching the fight for local retailers going on between the eBay and Amazon. Everyone wants to win this market as it hasn’t been a major focus in the past but is in fact the fastest growing ecommerce country in Europe, has been for a few years and will be for the next few.
Unfortunately for eBay, Amazon and other potential competitors the home grown marketplace Allegro.pl owns much of the market here. Everyone I know uses Allegro, in fact with 15 million users in a country of only 40 million people it’s fair to say most people buy of Allegro. Allegro owned marketplaces dominate across all of Central and Eastern Europe, Aukro.cz in the Czech Republic and olx.ro in Romania. We’ll dig into the details of Allegro and its parent company Naspers at a later date but this does show that you should take notice of marketplaces you may not have heard of when it comes to specific countries.
Even where one of the well known marketplaces is the most widely visited in a country, outside of the UK and Germany they aren’t as dominant and have strong competition. For example in France, Amazon is the largest marketplace, but it’s closely followed in number of visits by both Cdiscount and Fnac (consumer and electronics store and marketplace).
Bol.com is another example, being the most popular marketplace in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. While there isn’t the buyer quantity of the UK and German (or even France and Italy) it’s still a market that may be very good for your offering.
Then you have the category specific marketplaces which complete very well against anyone when it comes to visits and buyers. Zelando and ASOS marketplaces are big in fashion in some countries, Spartoo in others. If you sell watches you should be on chrono24 and collectables on catawiki.