Marketplaces in Europe are becoming more and more popular as people turn to them for the convenience they offer. According to the IAB annual study on eCommerce trends for 2022, 91% of Europeans buy their products through an online marketplace!
What is a marketplace?
A marketplace is a digital platform where different online stores that offer third-party products or services are grouped together. They act as an intermediary between a digital buyer and seller.
In other words, the marketplace becomes an online shopping center where different eCommerce marketplaces are grouped together.
As we told you in the article about the best eCommerce platforms, being in the marketplaces does not imply having your own online store, since in them you can upload your catalog directly or sell by drop shipping.
In this article we tell you everything about Spanish and international marketplaces, we offer you a list of the 10 best marketplaces in Europe and we explain how each of them works.
Types of marketplaces that you can find
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages of selling on a marketplace but it is certainly a good option to increase the sales of your online store. Depending on its characteristics, you will be interested in one or the other.
Depending on the type of client (individual or company), if you are an eCommerce seller focused on selling to individuals, the marketplace model that interests you is B2C (from company to end customer).
Depending on the products they sell, marketplaces can be vertical /niche or generalist. Examples of vertical marketplaces are Zalando, which specialized in fashion, and Etsy, in craft and craft products. An example of a general marketplace is Amazon, where we can find a bit of everything.
Depending on how the platform is managed, they can be (among others) P2P (peer-to-peer) marketplaces or managed marketplaces. An example of a P2P marketplace is AliExpress, where you take care of the shipping, returns, or customer service process. An example of a managed marketplace is Amazon.
Marketplaces Europe: The 10 Bests
Within the ranking of marketplaces in Europe, we have to mention a few that work worldwide and others, not necessarily smaller or less well-known, that are exclusively European marketplaces. In addition, some are general markets where you can sell all kinds of products and others are more specialized in a certain sector.
This is our selection of the “top 10” marketplaces in Europe:
With more than one billion visits per month in Europe alone, it leads the world’s marketplaces. In addition, selling on Amazon builds consumer confidence, helps you position yourself, and offers you a very complete statistics panel.
All of that sounds great! At first glance, it seems that selling on Amazon is the best option to start with. But this is not always the case.
Amazon makes everything so easy that you can end up getting lost. Of course, it has everything thought out, offering solutions for multiple preferences.
Thus, it has its Vendor Center for suppliers and manufacturers, and the Seller Center for online retailers. Within this group, there are also different options, since you can take care of your shipping and returns process yourself or leave it in the hands of Amazon, through the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program.
Selling on Amazon means constantly checking your competitor’s stats and products, and discounting your products to the limit to get a competitive price.
With so many affiliate sellers, it is very difficult for your product to appear in the best positions. You are going to compete with thousands of products the same as yours but at a cheaper price.
It is not that we want to paint it black with the Amazon marketplace. In fact, if it appears as number 1 in our Top 10 marketplaces in Europe, it is for a reason.
The fact is that it does not have to be a marketplace where you have to be yes or yes. Especially when you’re just starting out, and depending on the type of products you sell, it might be advisable to start with other smaller and more manageable marketplaces to gain ground.
Keep reading, there are more options!
eWorldTrade.com is a leading global trading platform that connects buyers and suppliers from around the world. We offer a wide range of products and services that help businesses grow and prosper. We have a strong commitment to providing the best possible customer experience, and our team of experts is always available to help you find the right solution for your business.
Unlike Amazon, eBay is a digital mediator between third parties. That is, it facilitates the sale and purchase between sellers and buyers, but it is not a seller in itself.
However, today it offers a platform for sellers from where you can access your monthly payment and commission account or manage your shipments and returns with Ebay’s logistics services.
Like many other platforms with an international presence, eBay is one of the main marketplaces in Europe through its ebay.es website, created especially for the Spanish market. However, with eBay, you have the opportunity to sell to the whole world, through two modalities: basic and advanced international sales.
The best-known Asian markets are in the process of internationalization. In fact, Aliexpress has 6 physical stores in Europe. When registering as a seller in their digital marketplace, you must choose your country, making it clear that there is a difference between selling from mainland China or “Mainland China” and the rest of the available countries.
Here it is important to note that many consumers have not yet found out about this, and believe that buying on AliExpress is equivalent to ordering products from China in any case. However, it can be sold perfectly in European countries through AliExpress.
AliExpress does not yet have logistics services from our country, so there is no choice here: the seller has to take care of the entire shipping process on his own.
What is the difference between Aliexpress and Alibaba?
When talking about AliExpress, Alibaba always comes to mind. Are they the same marketplace with a different name? Not exactly: AliExpress focuses on individual end customers, while Alibaba is aimed at businesses.
That does not mean that an individual cannot buy on Alibaba. The only thing is that instead of buying an item of a certain product, you probably have to buy lots of 10 or 20 units.
Should you sell on Alibaba? If you sell items or lots to individuals, yes. If not, it’s probably best for you to buy items or components for your store’s products there, since the prices are wholesale.
Fruugo is a British marketplace with an international presence.
Fruugo is a general marketplace, where you can find practically anything, so it is open to sellers of many varieties of products.
Also, being an international company, your sales are not limited to the national market.
Fruugo works with 20 different currencies and 15 different languages, so your products can open a gap in other markets.
Privalia offers you the opportunity to use its platform to sell your products, but you have to take care of shipping, returns, or customer service.
You must also fill in the product sheets and you have access to set your shipping conditions and delivery times, with which Privalia leaves you control over the promotion and logistics process of your products.
Although it began as a chain of large bookstores, this store of French origin has been expanding its catalog with electronic products, appliances, and household items, among others.
At Fnac, the seller is directly in charge of shipments and customer service, and as we have been seeing in other Spanish marketplaces, “Professional seller” is indicated on the product sheets when the sale comes from a third party.
Worten is a Portuguese company that expanded all over Europe in 2008 and since then has been consolidating its presence in our country. In addition to its 40 physical stores in Spain, it has a powerful online store in which its marketplace is also integrated.
Although the company began as a kind of Portuguese Media Markt, today Worten.es accommodates a wide variety of product categories.
A gap has been opening up among Spanish marketplaces and if your online catalog fits their categories, it’s worth taking a look at.
Like Amazon, Worten sells its own products in its online store, in combination with third-party products in its marketplace.
Payments are made through the Worten store, but customer billing, shipping, and returns are the responsibility of the seller.
Manomano is a niche marketplace: it is a European DIY specialist.
Although by name we might think that it is one of the genuinely national marketplaces in Europe, Manomano has its origins in France, with a good presence throughout Europe.
Other marketplaces in Europe, without going any further, limit their radius of action to the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. However, with Manomano.es you will have access to international sales.
We couldn’t close this list without mentioning Etsy. Although it’s a very niche marketplace, Etsy has a global presence, a well-built mobile app, and nearly 40 million active buyers worldwide.
If your thing is the creative and craft sector, you have to be on Etsy!
Unlike the previous ones, which accommodate numerous different product categories, this marketplace is focused on craft and decoration products.
If you think that Etsy is your marketplace, then this article is for you. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to selling on Etsy with everything you need to know.
Marketplaces in Europe: how to manage your shipments
We have already seen that the marketplaces in Europe solve things for you in terms of positioning, visibility of your product, digital payments, etc.
But remember that the journey of your package is not over until it reaches the hands of your customer.
Some marketplaces make their own logistics system available to you, but not all of them offer this service, and those that do so under their own conditions. If what you need is to control your own logistics, the most practical and safest thing to do is to work with a comprehensive shipping platform like Send cloud.