Online marketplaces – how retailers find the right platforms


  • A current study has developments, relationships and Potential of the worldwide online marketplaces examined.
  • The corona pandemic shows which (system) relevance the online marketplaces now have.
  • The management consultancy ecom consulting and the experts for online reviews from gominga want with their Study "The Marketplace World 2020" Bringing light into the darkness.

Even before the corona pandemic, it was clear: That Age of platforms has begun, which makes online marketplaces increasingly relevant. The Covid 19 pandemic is further intensifying and accelerating this trend. The boom now encompasses an enormous number of providers and offers a wide range of potential. In total, over 480 providers worldwide and more than 170 operate various in the DACH region Marketplace modele. The number of actors in the DACH region alone has more than doubled in the past five years. The growth figures as well as the dynamics of change and innovation are also remarkable on a global level.

Online marketplaces are extremely complex

For the first time, the consulting company ecom consulting and the review management provider gominga eServices therefore with her study "The Marketplace World 2020" systematically recorded the international marketplace landscape from September 2019 to January 2020. Christian Driehaus, co-founder of gominga eServices GmbH, explains the reasons for the analysis: "With our study, we want to contribute to the enormous complexity and heterogeneity map this world. This is the only way to enable a more differentiated and well-founded discussion about opportunities, risks and the rules of the marketplace for success. ” Brand manufacturers, retailers, politics, research and the media can now re-evaluate their approach on this basis of facts. In their analysis, the team of authors summarized ten theses. The following are the three most important facts about the 2020 marketplace landscape.

Online market places
The marketplace landscape in the DACH region 2020. (Graphic: ecom consulting / gominga)

1. There is no longer a specific marketplace model

In addition to the marketplace pure players, there are now a large number of retailers who add a marketplace to their web shop, app marketplaces that rely on "Mobile Only", price comparison platforms and more Social and content commerce models. There are B2C, B2B or C2C marketplaces. And the respective service level that marketplace operators offer their trading partners is varied and ranges from logistics to payment to advertising or goods financing. Overall, the rate of change is so high that some findings are out of date after just a few weeks.

It is correspondingly complex for manufacturers and retailers to find the platforms that are relevant for them, to deal with the various formats and the technical and procedural requirements behind them, and at the same time to take country-specific features into account. Politicians are also faced with the demanding task of understanding the different business models of the players and defining them legally.

2. Many online marketplaces in a piquant double role

Around a third of the existing marketplaces are marketplace-dealer combinations – worldwide and also in German-speaking countries. Like Amazon, they act as a marketplace and at the same time sell their own goods. Compared to 2015, the share of marketplace-dealer combinations in the DACH region rose significantly from 19 to almost 30 percent.

So if politics and the cartel office look critically at Amazon in this regard and a smashing respectively Separation of trading and marketplace models consider, any measures should also apply to other players such as Otto, real, Galeria, Douglas or Zalando. However, this would change the retail landscape massively: around 30 percent of the marketplace actors would be directly questioned.

3. Too few online marketplaces rely on real customer interaction

User Generated Content (UGC) is an elementary success factor today. And retailer and product reviews are an important form of UGC. It is all the more surprising that only 45 percent of B2C marketplaces worldwide and 39 percent of platforms from German-speaking countries have one Evaluation function have integrated. But the youngest generation of marketplaces is catching up. Social and content commerce platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest create targeted communities in order to intensify the interaction between users as well as the brand and consumers.

Ralph Hübner, partner of the consulting firm ecom consulting, emphasizes the relevance of the topic in the current development: “Today, online marketplaces occupy business, politics and the media at the same time. After all, retail giants such as Douglas, Rewe, Otto or Metro are now using the marketplace model as the future of future business. ”

Also read: Online trading in the corona pandemic: How providers survive the crisis