Who Are the Leading Online Marketplaces in Europe in 2021?

05 August 2021
Who Are the Leading Online Marketplaces in Europe in 2021?

Forecasted to reach $570 billion in value by 2025, the European ecommerce market is a lucrative territory populated by extensively developed countries in the online sector. As a result, online marketplaces have always played an important role in the ecommerce industry in Europe. Still, since the pandemic has changed the consumers’ shopping behaviour and forced further digitalisation, which in turn has meant these platforms have become essential to consumers more than ever before. So, who are the leading online marketplaces in Europe in 2021?

The European Ecommerce Landscape

Before diving into the major online marketplaces in Europe this year, it’s worth mentioning a few characteristics of this exciting territory with ever-flourishing ecommerce national markets. Firstly, Europe has 51 independent states and counts a 748.1 million total population this year, 424.5 million of whom are ecommerce users. 

As Europe is composed of countries famous for their different cultural features, the European ecommerce landscape reflects those, and as such, international brands and retailers need to pay particular attention to the unique characteristics and consumers’ preferences of each European ecommerce market to expand successfully. Also, Europe has a wide variety of audiences with different interests and nations with solid infrastructures and logistics. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that the UK, Germany, France, and Spain rank in the top ten of the most profitable ecommerce markets by sales worldwide in 2021.Ecommerce Sales by Country 2021According to the latest data of Finaria.it, the European ecommerce market revenue is forecasted to reach $465 billion this year, representing a 30% increase compared to before the pandemic, and it’s expected to hit $570 billion value by 2025. Fashion, the largest market segment, will experience the most remarkable surge recording $143.5 billion of market volume in 2021, 32% more than prior to the pandemic, followed by electronics and media; forecasted to generate $103.5 billion in revenue this year.

Top Online Marketplaces in Europe in 2021

Today, one-stop online stores are the norm and have become part of the daily routine for millions of consumers – Europeans are no exception. Moreover, the ecommerce embracement that experts predicted to happen in a decade has been dramatically accelerated by the pandemic, and online marketplaces are indeed the main characters. The table below shows the top ten online marketplaces in Europe in 2021 by monthly online visits based on the latest data of SimilarWeb.

#      Marketplace Category Region             Monthly online visits
1 Amazon General Global 1.4B
2 eBay General Global 664.8M
3 Allegro General Poland 185.5M
4 AliExpress General Global 180.9M
5 Wildberries General Russia 149.9M
6 Zalando Fashion Europe 131.2M
7 Ozon General Russia 86.2M
8 Bol.com General Netherlands 79.0M
9 Esty Arts, Crafts & Gifts Global 59.1M
10 OTTO General Germany 55.0M


With no surprise, Amazon reinforces its status as the leading online marketplace in Europe as it is the only one recording over a billion online monthly visits, leaving the other platforms far behind. Furthermore, as a general marketplace, Amazon offers millions of items across a significant variety of product categories, including its brands. Consumers can buy via the local Amazon marketplace of their own country. We could consider Amazon the one-stop store for ‘excellence’.

eBay is the second most common marketplace result on search engines when consumers shop online. Still, it differs from Amazon as it is a pure-play marketplace, trading only products of third-party sellers subscribed to the platform. After eBay follows Allegro, which overtook AliExpress this year. This platform has incredibly grown in the past few years and boasts over 125,000 merchants actively selling on the marketplace.

Apart from Etsy, another international ecommerce giant, but specialised in a very niche market; the European ecommerce landscape is characterised by several flourishing national marketplaces. However, only four out of ten marketplaces have a global presence in the ranking, while six focus on trading in one European country, with Zalando the only exception. 

Russia is the most populated country in Europe, more than double the UK’s population, and it saw an increase of 3% in the internet penetration compared to 2019, indeed forced by the pandemic. This explains why two Russian online marketplaces are in the ranking. Wildberries and Ozon saw a significant boost in their monthly visits this year; indeed, Ozon has moved from the eighth to the seventh position compared to 2020, and Wildberries reaches the top ten in 2021.

While most of the global and local marketplaces sell various items across several product categories, including Bol.com and OTTO, Zalando reaffirms its position as the top fashion shopping destination in the territory. Currently, the marketplace operates in 20 European countries and counts over 42 million active users.

When examining this ranking, another vital aspect to consider is the intrinsic characteristic of the business model of these leading marketplaces in Europe. While the ‘marketplace’ definition is well known and widely spread, there’s a crucial difference between the pure-play marketplace and those who are also retailers. The former represents the platforms that are only instrumental for the trading of third-party sellers. The outstanding example is eBay, along with Allegro, AliExpress and Etsy. The latter are the marketplaces that allow merchants to trade on the platform and sell their own brands to consumers. Of course, Amazon is the most popular with brands like Alexa, but others in this ranking have the ‘retailer’ hat, including Zalando, OTTO, Wildberries, Ozon and Bol.com.

As a market-leading ecommerce service provider, Arcade Retail provides a flexible retail solution that makes simple selling across international borders via online marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, Zalando and more. Get in touch today to discover how we can make your cross-border expansion easy!

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