The World’s 9 Biggest Online Marketplaces in 2018
Are you an eCommerce business looking at introducing a product in the market and have no idea which online marketplace you should start selling on? Look no further, we’ve made a list of the world's 9 biggest online marketplaces in 2018 to sell your products to your target market, whether in the US, Europe, Asia or Australia.
1. Alibaba Marketplaces China
Alibaba group controls over 80% of the market in China. It has many popular eCommerce sites that links Chinese buyers and sellers with foreign buyers and sellers in various and targeted ways. Also, with over 550 million monthly active mobile users, selling on one of their sites will give you access to China’s massive market.
If you already have a product and international brand presence, then Tmall Global is the site for you to sell directly to Chinese consumers.
Key Features Tmall Global:
- Expensive, but there is no need for a Chinese business licence or a physical presence in China if you sell on Tmall Global
- Tmall Global offers warehousing and storage services to international sellers
- Sellers also get daily sales reports and analytics
2. Amazon Marketplace Global
Since its emergence in the late 1990s, Amazon has grown from an online bookstore to become the largest e-commerce retailer globally. Now, over 310 million active online customers flock to Amazon’s website globally to purchase products. One of Amazon’s key features is its fulfilment service. This is where Amazon warehouses your products, fulfil orders and provide customer service so you don’t have to worry about that aspect of the business. Instead, you can focus on finding your product opportunities and sending them to Amazon.
If you’re a small to medium-sized retailer and if you’re selling your own branded product or distributing unique goods then Amazon is an excellent platform to sell on.
Key Features Amazon:
- Amazon has 11 international marketplaces operating in North America, Europe and Asia so you can expand easily
- Low marketing costs and enormous customer database from 180 countries - Amazon organic traffic is fantastic and can drive significant sales your way
- Amazon can also handle all the customer service, shipping and returns through its Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) program
3. JD.com Marketplace China
JD Worldwide is China’s second largest eCommerce site and directly competes with Alibaba’s Tmall Global. It also boasts 240 million registered users, of which about 188 million are active users. The site operates two models, the “reseller model” where JD Worldwide purchases your inventory from you and resells it to Chinese consumers. As well as the “marketplace/platform model” where you can host your products on their platform and pay commission on each sale depending on your product category.
Key Features JD Worldwide:
- USD$1,000 annual selling fee, but there is no need for a Chinese business licence or a physical presence in China
- Offers marketing support
- JD Worldwide also offers warehousing and storage services to international sellers, and access to its nationwide logistics network
4. eBay Marketplace Global
eBay is one of the pioneers of online shopping marketplaces and has a long history. About 160 million active shoppers buy products on eBay, which is a significant proportion. eBay not only provides a marketplace for selling new products, like Amazon. It also has one of the largest used goods online marketplaces where you can place your goods for auction.
Key Features eBay:
- Sellers are allowed a limited number of free listings, before being charged a fee
- Anything can be auctioned on the site as long as it is not illegal
- Extensive range of payment and shipping options
- Also has comprehensive tutorials and tips
5. Rakuten Marketplace Japan
Founded in 1997 in Japan, Rakuten dominates the Asian eCommerce market. It is also one of the most familiar names of online sellers globally, with over 105 million active customers. Rakuten is a third-party marketplace, acting as a facilitator between buyers and suppliers. Additionally, it has rapidly expanded by acquiring well-known sites including Play.com (UK), Priceminister (France), Buy.com (US) and many others.
Key Features Rakuten:
- Over 80% of Japan’s population buy from Rakuten Ichiba. Arguably the best platform to sell to Japanese customers
- Rakuten also works with a group of partner service providers that can give you fast delivery and return services
- There is an additional monthly membership fee
6. Flipkart Marketplace India
Flipkart, founded in 2007, is a successful Indian start-up and is one of the best platforms to get products to Indian consumers. Flipkart started as an online bookseller (like Amazon) and quickly emerged as one of the largest online marketplaces in Asia. In fact, they have adapted their business model to meet India’s specific needs. This includes cash-on-delivery payments and developing its own domestic logistic and infrastructure service to support India's growing e-commerce industry. Flipkart also has around 75 million active users.
Key Features Flipkart:
- 43% share of India’s expanding eCommerce market
- Only requires a local address to handle returns. Option to pay for merchandising packages for additional brand exposure
- Flipkart’s logistic network is unrivalled in India
7. Lazada Marketplace South East Asia
Lazada is the biggest eCommerce website in South East Asia. It is also the easiest way to reach new customers in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Lazada boasts about 50 million visitors a month and has over 550 million consumers in these countries. Recently, Alibaba invested $500m into the business, which should improve its service offerings.
Key Features Lazada:
- Sellers can customise their online ‘shop front’
- Lazada fulfilment service to help manage whole sales process
- No monthly or listing fees makes it a favorite online marketplace for sellers
8. Etsy Marketplace US
Launched in 2005, Etsy is one of the most popular e-commerce websites with presence in almost every country internationally. What sets it apart from other marketplaces is that it attracts handmade, novelty and vintage items from artists and craftsmen who sell jewellery, clothing, toys and art pieces. Etsy also has a very strong community. Currently, Etsy has up to 45 million items for sale, over 1.7 million active sellers and 28.6 million active buyers.
Key Features Etsy:
- Creating an account is free and there is no binding monthly payment - no unnecessary fees
- Promotional and marketing tools for sellers, including Google Analytics, Facebook integration and personalised email notifications
- Etsy also facilitates wholesale business with a list of boutiques and flea markets to shop from Etsy merchants offline
9. CDiscount Marketplace France
Cdiscount is the second largest online marketplace in France, after Amazon. Around 11 million unique visitors frequent the site every month. In addition, Cdiscount has 16 million registered buyers and over €3 billion of sales per year. It also features a wide range of 40 different product categories from consumer electronics to media to furniture.
Key Features CDiscount:
- Well-developed distribution network, with over 18,500 pick-up points
- Own fulfilment service, CDiscount Fulfilment, with competitive fees and payment terms
- Also has multi-lingual account managers to guide you from registration to first sale
If you are looking to improve your online business activity on a global scale, also check out the best of our business guides, aimed explicitly to the unique needs of Australian business owners.