Interview: Europe’s cross-border marketplaces market


Following the release of the first edition of the “Top 20 Marketplaces Cross-Border Europe”, Carine Moitier, Founder of Cross-Border Commerce Europe, shares the latest market trends and marketplaces that stand out on the continent.

1/ How is the cross-border marketplaces market doing?

According to our estimates, cross-border sales from marketplaces operated by companies with European capital represent a turnover of €9 billion in 2018 (excluding travel), representing only 21% of the total market for cross-border marketplaces in Europe, estimated at €42 billion, with Amazon generating €28 billion. However, cross-border sales are expected to increase by more than 50% to reach €15 billion in 2020.

2/ What explains this trend?

We see two factors that explain this trend.

– – The major EU cross-border marketplaces players Farfetch, Fruugo and Asos (UK), Fnac, Pixmania and Spartoo (FR), Zalando and (DE), Bytbil (NO) and Coolshop (DK) will experience strong organic growth, while on average 50% of their turnover is generated by sales made by third parties. This share is expected to increase further.

– EU marketplaces which operate locally are looking for growth opportunities beyond their borders. This includes 2dehands and 2ememain (BE), Marktplaats and (NL), On Buy and Flubit (UK), CDiscount, LaRedoute and Priceminister (France), and (DE), eMag (Eastern Europe), Fyndiq (SE), and Allegro (PT), Clasohlson (SE), (AT), Gigantti and Verkkokauppa (FL) and (HU).

In France, Amazon has a market share of 14.2% excluding travel, followed by CDiscount (7.8%). Only 5% of Amazon’s e-commerce is done in France compared to 95% for CDiscount. In the Netherlands, plans to expand into new geographical areas. Its marketplace is the main driver of growth. Today 23,000 third party e-merchants sell on

3/ Which marketplaces are at the top of the ranking?

The top 5 B2C marketplaces with European capital are Zalando, Fruugo, Asos, Farfetch and Carrefour.


4/ “Retail as a service”: a mandatory passage for marketplaces?

“Retail as a service” which is offered by most marketplaces is increasingly becoming a “must”, including the following services: transport, returns management, feed management, cloud computing services, payment and online marketing.

5/ How do you see this market developing?

We expect the emergence of new European niche markets by 2020. They are now very popular in the United States and the United Kingdom, for example: Newegg for the global electronics market, Reverb for musicians, Zibbet for independent artists and Houzz for interior design enthusiasts.

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