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The Best Global Online Marketplaces To Expand Your Brand Globally

the-best-global-online-marketplaces-to-expand-your-brand-globally

Online marketplaces are gaining momentum, fast. We’re all familiar with the saying “Go where your customers are.” These days, consumers are flocking to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Walmart, Rakuten, and more to do their shopping. 

In 2020, the global pandemic resulted in a 25.7% surge in ecommerce sales, amounting to $4.21 trillion. In 2021, sales are expected to rise further, to $4.92 trillion. Those purchases are going to come from over two billion online shoppers.

Selling on a marketplace can help build your brand, provide convenient shopping experiences for consumers, and multiply your profits. The opportunities are great, but expanding into international markets can come with complexities. 

This guide will help you understand the nuances that come with global online marketplaces and look at some of the most popular marketplaces in different regions of the world. By the end, you’ll be able to make data-backed and logical decisions on entering the global marketplace, which regions to enter, and which provider to use.

  1. What is an online marketplace?
  2. Is it worth selling on global marketplaces?
  3. How to choose online marketplaces to sell on
  4. 40 online marketplaces by region:

What is an online marketplace?

Marketplaces are online shopping platforms, similar to virtual shopping malls, that facilitate commerce between sellers and buyers. The company that operates the marketplace, like Amazon or eBay, doesn’t own any inventory, and brands who sell on marketplaces don’t have to deal with any ecommerce platforms or logistics. 

Marketplaces offer convenience to consumers. All products housed in a marketplace are categorized and presented in ways that encourage views and sales. Consumers can easily shop and compare options between many different brands in an instant. These platforms typically offer express checkout features to make the payment process seamless.

Is it worth selling on global marketplaces?

If an omnichannel brand wants to be everywhere its customers are, part of selling omnichannel includes expanding through marketplaces—often globally. 

The global reach of ecommerce marketplaces can give you an opportunity to test and penetrate new international markets quickly and easily. To get a better understanding of the benefits of selling on global marketplaces, here are some noteworthy facts:

  • 66% of shoppers had their pre-shop touchpoints online across various channels, proving that omnichannel experiences are here to stay.
  • Globally, around 62% of ecommerce online sales were made through marketplaces in 2020. 

Some other, less-tangible, benefits of selling on marketplaces include: 

Gaining access to millions of customers. Where do customers often go to start their shopping? Marketplaces. Listing your items on eBay, for example, gives you access to a customer base of 187 million. Walmart now sees 410.5 million monthly visits and Amazon has over 2.4 billion visits per month.

Visibility and brand awareness. Marketplaces can also help you access new audiences. One concern of brands is that people will buy their products on marketplaces instead of their own site. The fact is, without visibility on the marketplace, you may not have gotten that customer in the first place. The next move could be to build a strong relationship with new customers and help transition them from a marketplace to your own website.

Gaining trust. When you sell on a marketplace you are also the beneficiary of its marketing and brand building. Consumers tend to trust marketplaces, which automatically help your business have a built-in established level of trust.

Testing ground. Do you want to know what people are willing to spend on a product? Do you have a product surplus or want to introduce a new product? Use a marketplace instead of your own store to test out what works and what doesn’t.

Going global. Most marketplaces operate internationally. When selling your products on a country-specific marketplace you can expand your reach to other countries with minimal effort.

How to choose online marketplaces to sell on

As tempting as it might be to list your products on every single marketplace, you want to focus only on platforms that are a good fit for your products. Each marketplace has its own nuances, rules, and audience. 

They might take a commission on every sale. Others might charge you a listing fee. Either way, you’ll need to weigh the costs and benefits of getting access to a certain marketplace’s customers.

Here are a few characteristics of online marketplaces that will help you narrow down your choices:

  • Products. Some marketplace retailers may be more niche than others or may not allow the sale of products in particular categories (like medical devices). Research your potential marketplaces to see if your product can sell there.
  • Fees. It’s not just the selling fees or commission structure you’ll need to contend with. Remember to check out shipping costs (if they’re not included), as well as any chargeback or refund fees.
  • Customer location. If you’re primarily looking to sell in the United States, it makes sense to use a marketplace US customers are familiar with, such as Amazon or eBay. If you’re looking to sell to customers in Asian markets then you’d be better served by Alibaba or Tmall.
  • Competition. While listing on a marketplace should help you get ahead of those who don’t (remember: customers do their initial product searches on marketplaces), you’re up against hundreds, sometimes thousands, of other vendors.

Consider whether you want to search for a more niche marketplace before going head-to-head against other vendors on big marketplaces.

With these elements in mind, you should be able to have a better idea of what you’re looking for in an online marketplace.

Best online marketplaces by region

North America

Starting with the North American region (the US and Canada), we have six of the biggest online retailers you may already be familiar with.

Amazon

The most well-known online marketplace is Amazon, thanks to its powerful shipping and fulfillment abilities and its consistent shopping experience. Amazon is also the world’s largest search engine. Incredibly, 63% of product searches take place on Amazon.

As we saw earlier, Amazon is the most-visited ecommerce marketplace, averaging more than 2.4 billion visits every month. For reference, that’s more than the entire population of Africa, Europe, and North America combined.

One of the main reasons to sell on Amazon is next-level brand visibility. Many successful brands have launched on Amazon and expanded from there. Selling on Amazon can help build a sales funnel of potential customers who could eventually shop on your own site. If properly rolled out, selling on Amazon can be considered a complement—not a competition—to your direct-to-consumer website. 

Some companies are reluctant to use Amazon, often due to its fees: on average, a 15% fee on every sale, but it can be anywhere from 8% to 20%. However, Amazon can help companies rank higher in Google searches and businesses sometimes outsource their packing and mailing to Amazon. 

Make sure to do your homework to see if creating an Amazon store lines up with your business goals. Consider the following:

  • See if your competitors have Amazon stores and, if they do, research them.
  • Meet with your team and determine how many resources you’ll need.
  • Estimate how much time is needed to set up and maintain the store.
  • Evaluate whether you have the expertise to optimize this content for user experience and discoverability in-house, or if you’ll need an agency partner.

Before you can create Amazon Store content, you’ll need to register your brand using Amazon’s Brand Registry.

Once your brand is registered, you can set up your first Amazon Store. Select your theme and start to build out your pages, much in the same way as you would your own website, making sure that the navigation is simple enough for customers to easily find what they’re looking for.

After that, it’s time to submit your store for Amazon’s review. 

With all of the above in mind, it’s easy to see why Amazon is one of the most popular ecommerce markets in the world. 

eBay

eBay isn’t just an online auction house for used items. Many of the products listed on eBay are actually new.

The flexibility for retailers to sell new and used has allowed eBay to earn $3 billion in revenue, with 187 million active buyers in Q1 of 2021 alone.

Selling on eBay puts your merchandise in front of millions of active buyers all shopping in one place, from one catalog. It can help grow your brand footprint on eBay’s global marketplaces. 

With the eBay channel on Shopify (available in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and Germany), you can expand your reach to the 182 million users who shop the platform’s fixed-price listings.

Selling on eBay has a number of benefits: it’s the second most popular marketplace in the US, and shoppers don’t need to find your unique store to buy your products—they just need to find your listings. 

eBay is also a favorite for sellers, because it’s so easy to get started and has a number of different shipping methods, including the Global Shipping Program.

On eBay, it’s important to position yourself competitively on price. Because eBay’s marketplace is so large, many sellers offer the same product across a range of prices. Selection, shipping costs, and sale terms are also important, but a competitive price is still the most important factor. 

To sell on eBay, there are three basic steps:

  • Sign up for an eBay business selling account.
  • Set up your account policies, including shipping, return, and policy preferences.
  • Upload your inventory using eBay’s tools or by using the Shopify integration:

With eBay, there are different levels of pricing plans, each of which helps you sell more, with reduced selling fees, “promoted listing” credits, and more. You’ll need to consider a pricing structure depending on the size of your business. 

Learn more: A beginner’s guide to selling on Ebay

Walmart

Walmart is the third most-visited online retailer in the US, with around 410.5 million visitors each month.

In 2021, Walmart reported an over 70% increase ($43 billion) in ecommerce sales over 2020.

Walmart currently allows third-party sellers in 35+ product categories to sell their products on its marketplace. You also don’t have to be based in the US to sell on the Walmart marketplace since 5% of its current sellers are based outside the country. 

Selling on the Walmart marketplace becomes all the more essential when you consider that 48% of shoppers say they are somewhat or very likely to join Walmart+, the brand’s membership program. Thus, a presence on both sites will give you a greater chance of capturing the same buyer. 

Walmart also has six ecommerce distribution centers that, when combined with in-store pickup/ship-from-store services for online orders, can meet two-day delivery expectations (in the US).

To sell on Walmart as a partner you need to follow these five steps:

  • Tell Walmart about your businesses and the products you’re planning to sell as part of its application process.
  • Set up your seller account once you’ve been approved and received a contract.
  • Sign the Walmart Retailer Agreement and complete your seller profile.
  • Onboard with a choice of integration methods, add your items, and test orders.
  • Request for launch, where Walmart will complete a final review before you can start selling.

As part of the onboarding process, you can connect your Shopify store with Walmart.com’s Marketplace website, if approved. 

The app will allow you to upload your product catalog and create listings, sync inventory, and import order details for fulfillment with Shopify. To date, this is only available for brands that are based in the US.

Rakuten

Rakuten is often referred to as “the Amazon of Japan,” though it has a number of regional marketplaces, including Japan, the US, the UK, France, and Germany.

Rakuten’s revenue in Q1 of 2021 alone hit $3.5 billion. Its customer base is made up of 1.5 billion members, and products range from electronics to fashion to pet supplies. 

In order to sell on Rakuten, merchants must apply and be approved. Brands can customize storefronts, which can help create your own brand identity on the platform and attract customers. 

Unlike Amazon, Rakuten will work with your brand to remove any counterfeits of your products with intellectual property rights, giving you more control of your brand perception overseas.

US- and Japan-based brands can also use Shopify’s Rakuten Ichiba app to start selling in Japan, while easily translating Japanese and managing everything within Shopify.

Best Buy

Another marketplace you can consider selling on is Best Buy. You might have thought you have to be a major brand to sell there, but even as a small business, you can apply to become an online seller. 

Best Buy is another company that has seen recent profit soars, in this case from $43.6 billion in revenue during 2020 to a projected $47.2 billion in 2021. 

You might also be surprised to know that Best Buy came after Amazon (and before Apple) in the list of consumer electronics retailers with the largest amount of sales in North America.

Although the application process isn’t transparent (therefore it’s unclear how difficult it is to get approved) these numbers are hard to ignore and, alongside the Best Buy brand association, makes it a significant marketplace for your business.

Etsy

Last on our list of popular North American ecommerce sites is Etsy. Esty mostly serves the arts and crafts community, specializing in handmade, vintage, and collector’s items. 

When shopping on Etsy, you’re unlikely to find the same product listings anywhere else on the web (except maybe the seller’s own online store). As such, it works quite differently from the other ecommerce platforms we have looked at so far. 

With such a niche market, it’s no surprise that its annual marketplace revenue sits lower than the others, at $1.3 billion. However, for what it lacks in overall revenue, Etsy makes up for it by having a laser-focused target audience. 

So if you’re a craft-based small business, it makes a lot of sense to list products on Etsy—which is very easy to do (create an account and start listing). One caveat is that Etsy charges you a listing fee, but overall these fees are lower than some of the other marketplaces we’ve discussed.

Asia-Pacific (APAC)

You’ve probably heard that Asia-Pacific is the region to sell in right now, and for good reason. Asia is currently the most populated region in the world, with over four billion people, and is expected to grow further still, to 4.3 billion by 2025.

Growth potential is concentrated in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. But it’s China that fuels over 52% of global ecommerce sales and likely will continue to dominate until at least 2025.

We’ll zoom in to what you need to know to sell in China specifically, but one key consumer behavior in APAC is the use of smartphones for online shopping. It’s at least twice as prevalent in Asia than anywhere else. Last year, in the third quarter of 2020, 79% of internet users in Indonesia made a purchase from their phone. This statistic is closely followed by users in Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Digitalization transformed APAC into a purchasing powerhouse and saved the region from much of the economic damage other countries experienced due to the pandemic.

China

For marketplace sellers interested in China, there are a few big names you can use to sell online, each serving a slightly different audience. 

Alibaba

As the leading online commerce provider in China, Alibaba is a platform you’ll want to give serious consideration. As a whole, the Alibaba Group boasts over one billion annual active consumers and 64% year-over-year revenue growth in 2020. 

That said, as a B2B manufacturer and wholesale supplier, Alibaba.com provides the foundation for many businesses. So if your business is about selling products to other businesses (which doesn’t have to be limited to China), you need look no further than Alibaba.com.

To start selling with Alibaba, you’ll just need to fill out a simple form to create an account. The rest is up to you.

AliExpress

AliExpress is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group and one of its B2C online marketplaces, so its stats fall under those in the previous section.

On its own, AliExpress pulls in 200 million website visits a month and has over 600 million downloads of its mobile app.

What makes AliExpress a great option for many businesses is it’s localization—the platform is available in 18 languages in 230 countries and regions. 

Selling on AliExpress is as easy as selling on many other platforms: create an account, submit your business information, then submit your application. After that, you can personalize your store and start selling.

JingDong (JD)

As a competitive leading B2C online marketplace, JD.com is a great option if you don’t want to use Alibaba Group platforms.

JD announced a $114.3 billion net revenue for 2020, an increase of 29.3% from 2019.

JD.com specializes in advanced technology and logistics solutions and has one of the largest fulfillment infrastructures in the world, achieving 90% of orders delivered on the same or next day.

If logistics are a top priority for your business, you may want to consider JD.com as your platform of choice.

Taobao

The second ecommerce website from the Alibaba Group is Taobao. Formed in 2003 by Jack Ma, Taobao reported a gross merchandise volume of 3.39 trillion yuan (almost $523 billion).

What separates Taobao from AliExpress and Tmall (see below) is that its business model is primarily C2C—think of it as the eBay of China. 

As of August 2021, Taobao is currently ranked No. 8 in global internet engagement.

Tmall Global

Our last Alibaba Group entry is Tmall Global, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) counterpart to Taobao. Together, these two retail sales giants make up 58.2% of China’s market ecommerce market share.

Tmall Global is positioned as Alibaba’s “cross-border” site—a way for sellers to build virtual storefronts for Chinese consumers without needing Chinese operations.

XiaoHongShu

Our final online marketplace in the region of China is XiaoHongShu (otherwise known as RED, or Little Red Book). XiaoHongShu has a very different approach in that it also doubles as a social media platform. It uses influencer marketing and reviews to fuel ecommerce sales.

The platform is currently valued at $5 billion, and in July 2020 it raked in 8 billion views in a single day.

Australia and New Zealand

Every two out of three New Zealanders spent less overall in 2020 because of the pandemic, but, like most regions, COVID-19 pushed New Zealand commerce into the digital world: 33% of New Zealanders said they moved their shopping from physical to online stores. Of the almost five million people in New Zealand, 88% are online in search of something to buy.

In Australia, 200,000 new shoppers entered the ecommerce market in 2020. The grocery delivery category in Australia grew 81% between 2016 and 2021, but Aussies are still growing the fashion and beauty ecommerce markets more than any other categories. 

The growing middle and upper classes in Australia are bringing ecommerce revenues toward US$35 billion, and 40% of the goods Australians are purchasing are from the US. 

Altogether, the Australia–New Zealand ecommerce market saw the highest growth in the world in the second and third quarters of 2020—an impressive 107%. The following online marketplaces are where you’ll want to set up if you’re looking to sell in this region.

Amazon Australia

As we’ve covered Amazon in detail already, information on region-specific arms of the platform will be brief.

Despite Amazon only entering the Australian market in 2017, in 2021 it hit the US$1 billion revenue mark after sales doubled in 2020. This figure includes the US$126 million in revenue specifically from third-party sellers on the platform.

eBay Australia

In terms of popularity, eBay ranks as the top ecommerce site in the region. Despite this title, revenue growth has slowed in both Australia and New Zealand—rising only 2.5% in the 12 months ending December 2020.

It’s not all bad though. eBay reported in March 2021 that an additional one million Australians now shop on the platform each month.

Etsy Australia

Unfortunately, Etsy doesn’t publish region-specific revenue data. However, it appeals to the same niche target market as it does in other regions of the world: vintage and handmade goods.

What we can see is Australia comes in third on the list of international Etsy sellers, making up 7% of the distribution.

GraysOnline

Another online marketplace of note is Grays, which is the largest industrial, auto and commercial eCommerce business in Australasia. It offers a wide range of industrial, auto, consumer and commercial goods, direct from manufacturers and distributors.

Analysts at Grays expect it to achieve $871.6 million in gross transactions through its selling platform, with $125.7 million revenue in 2021.

If your business is in the auto or industrial niche, it would be worth considering selling with Etsy Australia.

India

Flipkart

Flipkart is an ecommerce company based in Bengaluru, India, and acquired by Walmart in 2018. The company was founded by previous Amazon employees in October 2007, launching a proprietary product line called DigiFlip that included laptop bags and tablets, and has since expanded into other product categories like furniture, grocery, travel, and beauty. 

Flipkart is a close competitor to Amazon, generating 346 billion Indian rupees ($4.6 billion) in the 2020 financial year. Top categories include electronics, home and kitchen, fashion, books, and health and beauty products. 

Read more: How an Indian Retail Conglomerate Sells Across Global Online Marketplaces

Europe

The European Union is the third largest market in the world and, according to Statista, revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.43% from 2021 to 2025, resulting in a projected market volume of $655.6 billion by the end of that period.

For international sellers, the situation is complicated by Brexit and new EU tax rules. If you’re looking to expand into this region, be sure to read about the consequences of Brexit beforehand. 

However, it’s still good to know that if you’re selling solely through a marketplace in the UK the marketplace will automatically add the Value Added Tax (VAT) to any low-value goods you’re selling, and will remit the correct tax to the UK government. 

Europe is made up of several major market regions. Here, we’re going to cover the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy.

United Kingdom

As one of the most advanced ecommerce markets in the region, the UK internet retail sales boasts some of the highest figures to date. In June 2021 alone, the value of sales in the region reached just over 2.1 billion British pounds ($2.9 billion). Here are some of the most popular online marketplaces in the UK.

Amazon UK

As the third most profitable market for Amazon, the UK ended 2020 with $25.6 billion in net sales. Top product categories in the UK include books, electronics, PC and video games, giftcards, and toys and games.

eBay UK

eBay is another top online marketplace in the UK, as it is in many regions. It has delivered consistent levels of revenue each year since 2013, but due to the pandemic, it saw a revenue spike of $1.68 billion in 2020.

Top product categories on eBay in the UK include baby products, business and industrial, camera and photo, mobile phones and accessories, and clothing.

Etsy UK

Outside of the US, the UK is Etsy’s leading location, hosting 30% of the platform’s sellers. This number likely is due to the cultural preference toward artisanal, ethical handmade goods.

Etsy also comes in as the third most visited online marketplace in the UK, with 36 million visits per month.

Not On The High Street (NOTHS)

Similar to Etsy in terms of handcrafted goods, Not On The High Street specializes in hard-to-find products and gifts. It boasts a brand awareness of 80% in the UK, with over 2.8 million customers in 2020.

NOTHS reported a 2020 annual revenue of 37.1 million British pounds ($51.6 million) and says its best performing product categories were jewellery, home, stationery, and parties. 

Zalando UK

If your business specializes in clothing and accessories, German-based group Zalando could be your entryway into the UK apparel market. 

In 2020, it reported $253.8 million in net sales and is ranked as No. 549 of all stores on ecommerceDB.

Overall in the European region, Zalando markets to around 42 million active customers.

Germany

The ecommerce landscape in Germany is also impressive—it is expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.35% from 2021 to 2025, leading up to a projected market volume of $1.34 billion by the end of that period. Some of the online marketplaces in Germany are familiar, while others may not be.

Amazon Germany

Amazon Germany saw net sales increase to $29.6 billion in 2020, a jump from $22.23 billion in 2019. Amazon is also far ahead of the marketplace competition in Germany in terms of user share, with 83% as of 2021.

eBay Germany

Next on the list is eBay, which follows similar patterns as in other regions of the world. As of 2020, eBay hit an annual net revenue of $1.1 billion in the German market.

While the US and UK take top spots for distribution of sellers, Germany takes third place, ahead of China, accounting for 15% of sellers in 2020.

Otto

You may not have heard of it outside of Europe, but Otto GmbH is one of the world’s largest ecommerce companies and founder of the delivery service Hermes. Otto originally specialized in mail order but now sells a multitude of products, much like Amazon and eBay.

In February 2021, Otto reported online revenues of around 10 billion euros ($11.8 billion), a global increase of around 23% (22% of which was in Germany).

Tchibo

As business models go, Tchibo has a unique offering. It is primarily a chain of coffee retailers and cafés, but is known for general retail products that change every week.

In 2020, Tchibo is reported to have generated $622.5 million in net sales and was one of the top online stores for furniture and appliances in 2019.

Yatego

In terms of German-speaking online marketplaces, Yatego is also one of the top sites for traders to sell their products, and more than 7,700 dealers use Yatego as an additional sales channel.

Being a German-language site naturally means it has smaller revenue opportunities than multilingual sites, but it still managed to generate $1.65 million with only 10 employees. 

Zalando Germany

Zalando originated in Germany, so it’s no surprise that it’s the country’s highest ranking online marketplace for fashion.

In its first quarter financial results for 2021, Zalando reported that nearly half of its revenue from fashion sales came from Germany alone (921 million euros). 

The Netherlands

The third country on our list of European online marketplaces is the Netherlands. In 2019, the market size of the country was nearly 26 million euros ($30.58 million), but some companies report that, due to the pandemic, online revenues went up by nearly 500% in 2020. 

Amazon Netherlands

The Netherlands may be one of the smaller countries in Europe, but it’s third on the list of most global imports. Amazon has a helping hand in this figure, with net sales reaching $431.4 million.

For the high amount of sales, it has fairly low engagement in terms of website traffic, sitting at 24.37 million visits in July 2021. 

Bol

For domestic online marketplaces, bol.com serves as the Netherlands’ favorite, reporting net sales of $1.3 billion in 2019. More recently, in 2020, that net sales figure significantly increased to $2.1 billion, showing the positive impact of the pandemic.

Bol.com currently serves over 10 million customers across the Netherlands and Belgium and has over 2.5 million visits per day on its platform.

Wehkamp

For a bol.com alternative in the domestic all-round online market, you can turn to Wehkamp, who’s dominant product category is fashion, followed by furniture. 

In 2020, Wehkamp generated $874.2 million in net sales, which were almost exclusively generated from the Netherlands. In July 2021, it hit an estimated 6.86 million visits on its website.

Zalando Netherlands

One of seven main locations for Zalando, the Netherlands also generates a significant amount of sales that rival domestic brand Wehkamp, but not as much as its German market.

In 2020, the Dutch branch Zalando is estimated to have generated $736.3 million in net sales, and had 16.68 million visits to its website—again both numbers almost exclusively Dutch customers.

Italy

Italy is the third-largest economy in Europe and is especially fond of luxury goods (given many high-end fashion and automotive brands are based there). It has also seen significant growth in its B2C ecommerce market size—from 21 billion euros in 2016 to over 30 billion euros in 2020.

In terms of online marketplaces, two stand far above the rest.

Amazon Italy

Given its dominance over ecommerce in nearly every region it operates in, it’s no surprise Amazon is also top of the list in Italy. Amazon launched its Italian operations in 2010, and 10 years later it saw over $4.2 billion in net sales in the country.

What makes having an European marketplace seller account special compared to other regions is that one account covers all of the European markets—meaning you can sell in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, The Netherlands, France, and Sweden. 

Zalando Italy

The final European online marketplace on this list is the Italian branch of Zalando. It’s not its biggest generator of sales compared to other countries, but it’s still estimated to have earned around $599.5 million in 2020.

In terms of online engagement, Italian Zalando is estimated to have had 18.3 million website visits in July 2021.

Latin America

The Latin America region is one of the fastest growing ecommerce markets in the world. The pandemic had a significant impact on its retail industry. Government mandated stay-at-home orders forced retailers to shutter, yet out of the ashes came massive adoption in ecommerce. 

Retail ecommerce sales for the region grew 36.7% in 2020, reaching $84.95 billion, nearly three times more than eMarketer’s forecast in 2019. International retailers have plenty of economic powerhouses like Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil to break into.  

It’s important to understand that when expanding to Latin America, every country is different. Each has its own habits and culture. Your marketing plan that may work in Argentina may not work in Mexico. In areas like Brazil, logistics and infrastructure issues can cause slow delivery times in the north versus south. 

Latin Americans are also sensitive to non-Latin countries trying to do business in their countries. Don’t impose your own way of doing things. Bring on a team to help with your expansion into Latin America, especially if you are a native English speaker. You’ll need to co-operate with different governments and domestic companies who don’t speak English. 

Mercado Libre is the number one marketplace in Latin America and one of the top 10 visited ecommerce websites in the world. Start selling on Mercado Libre here

Mexico

As one of Latin America’s largest ecommerce markets, Mexico generates a value of $22.6 billion—comparable to Italy’s presence in Europe. This figure is projected to increase significantly, to $53 billion by 2024.

In 2019, the top category of online purchases was transportation, however in 2021 this has changed to clothing, which reflects changes in the landscape as a result of the pandemic.  

Mercado Libre Mexico 

Mercado Libre is a massive online retailer and payments ecosystem in Mexico. Founded in 1999, Mercado Libre has become Amazon’s largest competitor in the country. According to it’s Q2 2021 investor deck, the online marketplace generated $3.6 billion in ecommerce revenue, selling over 901 million items at a gross merchandise value of $25.5 billion. 

An all-around online store, Mercado Libre welcomes 106.5 million visits per month in a country with only 20 million online buyers. It sells products in 150+ categories, including smartphones, home and garden, sporting goods, fashion, and electronics and accessories.  

Amazon Mexico

Amazon Mexico was officially launched in 2013. By 2019, it had accumulated more than 50 million users and delivered to more than 25 cities per day. Today, Amazon is the second largest e-retailer in Mexico, with a 13.4% market share.  

Amazon.com.mx sees roughly 47.5 million visits and made over $1.4 billion in sales in 2020. Amazon Mexico generates most of its ecommerce net sales from its electronic and media category.  

Linio Mexico

Linio is another popular online marketplace launched in Mexico and has since expanded throughout the LATAM region. It sells a range of products across categories such as technology, entertainment, babies and toys, and personal care.

Launched in 2012, Linio generates nearly $220 million per year in revenue. The marketplace sees around 24 million visits per month with over 10 million products in its catalog.   

Liverpool

Liverpool is a mid-to-high-end retailer and one of the largest department store chains in Mexico. It operates nearly 136 stores under the Liverpool name and 131 under the Suburbia brand. 

In 2020 Liverpool.com.mx generated $645 million in net sales almost entirely in Mexico. Liverpool sells in categories such as furniture and appliances, toys and hobby, and more. Its main category is fashion. 

Brazil

Brazil is the largest ecommerce market in Latin American and fourth largest internet market in the world. Mobile ecommerce sales are growing at a compound rate of 14.4% each year and are projected to reach $13 billion in sales by the end of 2021. 

Mercado Livre Brasil

In 2020, Mercado Livre generated nearly $2.2 billion in revenue in Brazil, a 50% increase over 2019. It’s the largest ecommerce marketplace in the country and sees over 44 million site visitors per month.

Americanas

Lojas Americanas is a retail chain founded in 1929 in Rio de Janeiro. In 2020 its net sales peaked at a record high of over 20 billion Brazilian reals ($3.82 billion). Its main categories are considered to be toys, hobbies, and DIY-related products. 

Alongside these impressive sales figures, the americanas.com.br website is estimated to receive 109.5 million visits per month, over 99% of which were visitors from Brazil.

Casas Bahia

Where many online marketplaces are generalized, Casas Bahia specializes in furniture and home appliances. By targeting this specific niche, it has enabled them to become the go-to place for Brazilian shoppers in this category.

In 2020, its estimated net sales figure reached $1.25 billion, and its website traffic hit 80.72 million visits in July 2021. 

Amazon Brazil

Launched in 2012, the Brazilian operation of Amazon has recently started offering its Prime members free one-day deliveries in 50 cities (where one-day shipping was previously a paid extra). 

This bonus feature is likely to affect 2021 figures, but as of 2020 it’s estimated that Amazon Brazil generated $584.6 million, mostly in the electronics and media category. 

Argentina

Argentina is the 33rd-largest market for ecommerce in the world, with revenue of $6 billion. In 2020, its market grew by 44%, contributing significantly to the worldwide growth rate of ecommerce. 

Frávega

Frávega is an Argentine marketplace focused on national sales. It does over $103.1 million in revenue with an extensive product range. Its most popular category is furniture and appliances, followed by  electronics and media and toys and hobby. 

Mercado Libre Argentina

As the largest online commerce and payments system in Latin America, Mercado Libre’s Argentina operations accounted for the largest share (almost 82%) of ecommerce website visits in the country for the period between September 2020 and March 2021.

The 2020 financial year saw a huge 115% increase of net revenue in Argentina, from $456.3 million in 2019 to $980.3 million—which represents an increase of almost 5% of Argentina’s share in Mercado Libre’s total revenue. 

Selling globally online

As you can see, there is no shortage of online marketplaces for ecommerce brands to sell on. These websites can help you expand your brand awareness, reach new markets, and drive sales online.

But expanding internationally does take planning and understanding of different customs and cultures. If you want to expand your brand cross-border successfully, read our global ecommerce playbook.

This originally appeared on Shopify Plus and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.