Marketplaces are taking an growing share of B2C online retail sales: Half of B2C online retail spend came from marketplaces in 2016. Forrester Data’s new Online Marketplace Tracker examines 11 marketplaces across 16 countries to understand their share of the B2C eCommerce market and their growth trajectories from 2015 to 2017. Specific findings of the report include:
- Marketplaces continue to increase their share of online retail sales. Shoppers are turning to marketplaces more often to buy goods online. European shoppers list the price, free shipping, and items in stock as the three most important criteria that influence their purchase. Marketplaces offer easy-to-use online shopping websites, and the largest players dominate. In 2016, 75% of active marketplace buyers came from Tmall, Amazon, JD.com, and eBay. Half of online retail B2C spend came from marketplaces in 2016; by 2022, this share could rise to 66% if current growth trends continue.
- Marketplace services drive their adoption. Marketplaces increasingly offer free or discounted shipping, secure and localized payment processing, online advertising and search, and fulfillment services for both domestic and international destinations. Three-quarters of cross-border purchases on AliExpress use Alipay. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) fulfilled 55% of the units sold by third-party retailers on Amazon, and the number of active sellers using FBA grew by more than 70% in 2016.
- Marketplaces extend their reach to physical stores. In Western Europe, 91% of retail sales are still made offline, while 75% of online purchases are influenced by offline sources. As a result, marketplaces like Alibaba through its partnership with Suning and Amazon through its proposed acquisition of Whole Foods are starting to invest in physical retail.