Shopping at e-commerce marketplaces has increased significantly in Europe in recent years. The likes of Amazon, Wish, eBay, and others have seen a growing number of European customers. It’s interesting to note that international marketplaces are common in large countries but less so in smaller ones. The main example of this is Amazon, which has deliberately focused on the largest markets in Europe. Yet shopping at marketplaces will probably increase in smaller countries as well over the next few years. Most likely, the major market players will expand here, or perhaps a domestic participant will succeed in positioning itself before the giants barge in.
In those countries with a high usage of marketplaces, one clear effect is the growth in consumer purchasing frequency. In countries where more people shop online from marketplaces, the number of those also shopping online every week is higher as well. This development is probably due to the fact that it is convenient to shop in marketplaces, and that they also often offer attractive member benefits.
A well-known membership service is Amazon Prime, which provides access to Amazon’s streaming service, discount coupons, and most importantly – free shipping with every order, and this drives sales sharply upwards. Prime customers have been known to shop for more than twice as much as ordinary Amazon customers, and the difference appears to increase each year.
Yet international marketplaces also seem to have different strategies when it comes to Europe. This becomes especially clear when comparing for example Amazon, based in the US, and Wish, which is based in China. Amazon is very strong in a few markets, while Wish instead has smaller market shares in many countries. Loyalty to Amazon is extremely high in the countries where the company is established. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK are all examples of this phenomenon. In contrast, customers in neighboring countries do not appear to be particularly inclined to shop from Amazon – the giant loses its grip on customers as soon as the product has to cross a border. This means that Amazon has a few strong footholds in Europe, but without much reach. Wish, on the other hand, pursues the opposite strategy. Wish is relatively popular in many countries, but does not have a really strong position in any. In Europe, Norwegians and Swedes are the ones who shop most from Wish.
More information on consumers’ usage of marketplaces throughout Europe will be available in a forthcoming PostNord e-commerce report.