Deep Dive 37 minutes Premium

Deep Dive: Profiling Ten of the World’s Biggest E-Commerce Marketplaces, from Alibaba to Zalando

Executive Summary

In this report, we profile ten of the world’s biggest e-commerce marketplaces and look at the global prospects for e-commerce growth.

  • Marketplaces aggregating third-party sellers have been growing their share of e-commerce. According to Euromonitor, marketplace sales accounted for 41% of all online retail sales in 2017, up from 17% in 2008.
  • Amazon and Alibaba are the two biggest international players in e-commerce today, largely because their respective home countries, the US and China, have been early and fast adopters of online retail.
  • Smaller Chinese companies such as Kaola and Pinduoduo are finding niches to focus on to chip away at the near-duopoly of Alibaba and in Chinese e-commerce.
  • Retailers including Walmart and Zalando have been moving into marketplace formats in order to bolster their online offerings.
  • Young and less-urban populations along with high rates of GDP per capita growth appear to correlate with greater reliance on e-commerce. India and parts of sub-Saharan Africa could be the next regions to experience an e-commerce boom.

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