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Half of global online retail sales is generated on marketplaces, reveals report from yStats.com

A new report from Germany-based secondary market research firm yStats.com, “Global E-Commerce Marketplaces 2018,” focuses on the growth of multi-seller online platforms. Several sources cited in the publication agree on the estimate that marketplaces currently account for around 50% of the world’s retail E-Commerce sales. By 2022, this share could increase to two-thirds, as online shoppers turn to marketplaces for better deals and product variety.

Online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Tmall and Rakuten, generated around 50% of global E-Commerce sales in 2017, with a projection of two-thirds by 2022, according to sources cited in the yStats.com report. Eight in ten online shoppers used these platforms in 2017 and two-thirds started their product search on multi-seller websites rather than on the search engines of retail shops.

Asia is the global leader of the marketplace trend. In countries such as China, India and Japan, the vast majority of online shoppers reported making half or more of their Internet purchases on marketplaces, according to data from a 2017 survey contained in the yStats.com report. In contrast, only around one-third of U.S. B2C E-Commerce sales was generated by third-party merchants via marketplaces. Nevertheless, more U.S. consumers are turning to marketplace shopping, attracted by better prices and free or discounted shipping options. Other marketplace features luring online shoppers in different countries include product availability and variety.

While popularity of marketplaces among global online shoppers is rising, the rivalry between the top online marketplaces is intensifying. In terms of gross merchandise volume, Alibaba was the leading marketplace operator in the world in 2016, generating two times more online sales than Amazon’s retail and marketplace GMV combined, as yStats.com’s publication shows. Nevertheless, Amazon’s marketplace is also growing, with around one in two units sold on Amazon coming from third-party sellers, as of 2017. Besides the two E-Commerce giants, other leaders in the global marketplace space include eBay, Rakuten, JD.com, Etsy, and Wish, with numerous regional and country champions such as MercadoLibre, Flipkart, Allegro and Jumia