Top online marketplaces: logos on a computer screen

Top 10 online marketplaces: a guide to leading ecommerce platforms

What are the top 10 online marketplaces? What will be the best ecommerce platforms for your business in 2022?

Selling on (more) marketplaces will help you diversify your sales channels, providing you with more opportunities as well as options in the event of adversities, such as Brexit or coronavirus.

According to Shopify, organizations that sell on websites, marketplaces, social and mobile generate 190% more revenue and increased brand awareness than merchants who only sell through a single channel.

The question remains: what are the best platforms to sell online?

Time to find out now.

What to sell online on marketplaces after Covid-19 & Brexit: Download

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What are online marketplaces?

Online marketplaces are established virtual shopping outlets that consumers are used to visiting, trusting and purchasing through.

Types of online marketplaces:

  • Vertical marketplaces that specialize in only one kind of product category, e.g. clothing and accessories. For example, TrueFacet.com only sells jewelry and related products.
  • Horizontal marketplaces that offer products of many different types, but all sharing a characteristic, e.g. Dote.com enables women to shop at multiple retailers simultaneously by viewing all products from all retailers at the same time.
  • Global marketplaces that sell everything, e.g. eBay and Amazon.

Each online marketplace is unique. It has its own unique requirements, listing fees, product categories and audiences.

Online marketplaces: benefits

Selling on online marketplaces has many benefits. Above all, online shoppers are flocking to marketplaces like eBay, Amazon or Walmart to do their shopping, compare prices or start their purchase journey.

Many consumers don’t start with Google or retail websites when they want to purchase products, but with marketplaces.

One of the most common concerns of shoppers buying from independent websites and unknown brands is the lack of trust at the moment of completing the purchase and entering payment details.

The reality is that people are more likely to buy from sellers looking like legitimate retailers who sell on established marketplaces. This way, online store owners can automatically benefit from the platform’s own brand-building.

According to Paulina Bijok, Sales Manager at Webinterpret:

Some buyers may have security concerns about buying products from online stores they don’t know. However, if they see your store on established and generally trusted ecommerce platforms like eBay or Amazon, they’ll probably automatically trust you.

11 benefits of selling on marketplaces

  1. Quick access to vast numbers of potential customers.
  2. Fast launch times, streamlined processes and protections against the risk of unpaid bills, fraud and disputes.
  3. Lower costs and/or the possibility to optimize your acquisition costs: benefits of scale and efficiency.
  4. Built-in tools and ecommerce solutions.
  5. Benefits from the marketing power of the marketplace: its visibility on search engines, its audience, reputation and brand-building expenses.
  6. Customer loyalty: marketplaces tend to draw the same customers back over and over, especially in the case of subscription services, e.g. Amazon Prime or Allegro Smart.
  7. The possibility to use storage and delivery services offered by some marketplaces, e.g. FBA by Amazon or eBay Global Shipping Program.
  8. The possibility to advertise your products/store and study your audience and leverage extensive shopping data, e.g. with Amazon Advertising or eBay Promoted Listings.
  9. Great testing grounds with less risk, e.g. if you want to offer new products.
  10. Benefits
  11. of multichannel sales strategy: if you diversify your selling channels, you should have a Plan B most of the time.The possibility to sell internationally so you can expand your reach with minimal effort to other countries.

Online marketplaces: potential disadvantages

Selling on marketplaces can also have some potential disadvantages:

  • Fees: depending on the marketplace, commissions for products sold can range from 5 to 20%.
  • Rules, e.g. around selling brand names, product descriptions, pricing or photo quality, some of which can feel restrictive.
  • Competition and the risk of price wars.
  • A risk of getting suspended or banned from the platform, e.g. when customers are unhappy and/or their concerns are not responded to on time.
  • Giving up control over your clients’ data, which can make it more difficult for you to launch retargeting or subscription strategies.

Top 10 online marketplaces to sell in 2022

In this section you’ll find a list and descriptions of top online marketplaces on different continents. If you’d like to expand your sales in different parts of the world, consider the following marketplaces.

  1. Amazon
  2. eBay
  3. Etsy
  4. Allegro
  5. Walmart
  6. Cdiscount
  7. Mercado Libre
  8. Alibaba / Taobao / Tmall
  9. Shopee
  10. Flipkart.

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#1 top online marketplace: Amazon

Website: Amazon

Websites like Amazon have revolutionized the world of online sales platforms. Amazon is a go-to marketplace for many shoppers: an estimated 44% of Amazon shoppers say they always check prices on Amazon before making a purchase on another site.

One of the biggest benefits to selling on Amazon is the access to the marketplace giant’s multi-million buyer base. However, a big challenge can be competition.

For reduced competition, consider selling niche products. You can also try Amazon Advertising for better product visibility (learn how to effectively advertise on Amazon).

what to sell on amazon niche products

When selling on Amazon:

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FREE download: Amazon Advertising

#2 top online marketplace: eBay

Website: eBay

eBay belongs to the biggest online marketplaces with a vast global market share. The platform serves over 180 million worldwide buyers and operates in 190 markets around the world.

If you don’t sell on eBay yet, learn how to set up an eBay store: read about the key facts, best practices and key terms, e.g. eBay fees (insertion fees, final value fees), subscriptions, eBay listing templates, etc.

selling online on ebay

When selling on eBay:

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FREE download: eBay Promoted Listings

#3 top online marketplace: Etsy

Website: Etsy

Etsy is a global marketplace where buyers can find special, creative and unusual items. The marketplace is designed to sell handmade items created by the person selling the product. It’s suitable for crafters, artists, collectors as well as antique and vintage shops.

Etsy describes itself as a platform that connects sellers with buyers looking for something alternative and empowers sellers to do what they love.

One of the best practices for sellers listing on the Etsy marketplace is to take beautiful product photos. The products that perform best on Etsy are highly visual and thus aesthetics matter.

#4 top online marketplace: Allegro

Website: Allegro for international sellers

Allegro is the biggest Polish online marketplace and one of Europe’s largest marketplaces after Amazon, eBay and AliExpress.

Top 5 categories on Allegro include electronics, fashion, home, childcare and health. Allegro sellers can sell new, refurbished and used items. Branded products are in demand.

Allegro gives B2C brands and professional re-sellers the possibility to expand into Poland’s thriving online market. Additionally, it provides opportunities for growth in the Eastern Europe region.

Allegro is interested in recruiting international ecommerce sellers: it’s one of the platform’s key focuses.

#5 top online marketplace: Walmart

Website: Walmart

Walmart is an invite-only ecommerce marketplace that uses commission fees only. It gives sellers access to millions of customers who visit the platform itself. Sellers can also take advantage of Walmart’s affiliate websites including Jet.com.

According to Statista, in fiscal year 2021, there were approximately 240 million customer visits each week to Walmart stores throughout the world.

According to consumer research gathered by Tinuiti, there’s a large overlap between Amazon.com and Walmart.com shoppers. Over 57% of Amazon buyers also shop on Walmart.com. As a result, listing on both marketplaces gives sellers a better chance of capturing those shoppers.

To get approved to sell on Walmart, your products should be affordable and your customer service top-notch.

walmart international net sales 2021

#6 top online marketplace: Cdiscount

Website: Cdiscount

Cdiscount is the second largest marketplace in France after Amazon. Finding eBay or Amazon merchants selling on Cdiscount is quite common due to the fast onboarding process and affordable selling fees.

The platform offers a wide range of products across different categories: electronics, homeware, clothing, jewelry, health care, entertainment, sports equipment, toys & games, etc.

As Cdiscount positions itself as an online discount retailer, its audience is looking for online deals and special offers. The platform wants to offer top quality products at the lowest possible price and good deals are available all year round.

Cdiscount is growing strongly and offers plenty of sales potential for retailers looking to expand their business in the French market. Unlike other known marketplaces, it does not restrict access to external sellers.

#7 top online marketplace: Mercado Libre

Website: Mercado Libre

Mercado Libre is an Argentine company that operates online marketplaces dedicated to ecommerce and online auctions, including mercadolibre.com. It’s Latin America’s most popular ecommerce site by number of visitors.

Mercado Libre sells in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Spain, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela.

#8 top online marketplace: Alibaba / Taobao / Tmall

Websites:
Alibaba
Taobao
Tmall

Alibaba Group (aka Alibaba.com) is a Chinese multinational company specializing in ecommerce, retail, Internet and technology. It’s one of the world’s largest retailers and ecommerce companies.

The company hosts C2C (Taobao), B2C (Tmall) and B2B (Alibaba.com) marketplaces. Practically every year Alibaba breaks sales records on China’s Singles’ Day, the world’s biggest online and offline shopping day.

Alibaba is a B2B website. Its best-sellers are generally items that can be mass-produced and sold wholesale to replenish inventory for companies.

Taobao facilitates C2C retail by providing a platform for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores that mainly cater to consumers in Chinese-speaking regions.

Tmall is a Chinese marketplace for B2C online retail, spun off from Taobao. It’s a platform for local Chinese and international businesses to sell brand-name goods to consumers in Greater China. Tmall is focused on high quality products, such as clothing, personal care, home furnishings and food.

#9 top online marketplace: Shopee

Website: Shopee

Shopee is a Singaporean ecommerce platform that currently serves buyers and sellers throughout Southeast and East Asia as well as several countries in Latin America. It’s a social-first, mobile-centric marketplace.

Shopee was first launched in Singapore in 2015 and later expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

Shopee first started as primarily a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace but has since moved into both a C2C and business-to-consumer (B2C) hybrid model.

#10 top online marketplace: Flipkart

Website: Flipkart

Flipkart is an Indian ecommerce company that initially focused on online book sales before expanding into other product categories, e.g. consumer electronics, fashion, home essentials and lifestyle products.

As India is a heavily populated ecommerce market, growth-minded worldwide sellers should definitely consider India’s huge consumer population that comprises people from different age groups.

Flipkart is part of the Walmart-owned Flipkart Group, which also includes group companies Flipkart Wholesale, Myntra and Cleartrip.

Sell internationally through ecommerce marketplaces

According to eMarketer, over 80% of retailers worldwide consider cross-border ecommerce to be profitable. It’s not surprising: 7 out of 10 online shoppers make purchases from international sites.

As a result, growth-minded marketplace sellers should consider expanding sales on international online selling platforms.

Cross border ecommerce on the increase

Selling through marketplaces is usually the easiest way to export products.

Global ecommerce sites like eBay and Amazon enable their sellers to sell internationally. Other popular marketplaces, for example Allegro in Poland or Cdiscount in France, are also open to foreign sellers.

The bottom line: ecommerce is booming around the world.

According to Mark Ellis, VP of Growth & Partnerships at Webinterpret:

Listing on global marketplaces is a must in your international expansion strategy but if you want to realize your potential, listing with marketplaces like Allegro, CDiscount and Walmart is essential.

Top marketplaces & choosing the right ecommerce platform: conclusion

To have complementary (or emergency) sales channels, consider selling on (more) ecommerce platforms. Not only can you choose bigger ones like eBay or Amazon (with unrivalled reach but also high competition), but also smaller platforms.

There are plenty of international marketplaces and best-selling websites to choose from. To identify the best online marketplaces for your business, consider marketplace fees, requirements and top categories.

About Webinterpret

Webinterpret offers ecommerce solutions that enable Amazon, eBay, Allegro and other marketplace sellers to sell more effectively in international markets through localized versions of their product listings. For a FREE analysis of your international sales potential, get in touch with our cross border trade experts.

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