Global online expansion is not the same game it was just a few years ago. Today companies are taking a multi-pronged approach to international expansion and looking at a variety of different ways to tap into online shoppers in different markets. One approach that has been gaining momentum is the use of global marketplaces.

Traditionally dominated by small- and medium-sized businesses, online marketplaces have been extending their offerings for global brand owners. Brands today have a growing number of options to build out enhanced official storefronts on these global marketplaces, reaching hundreds of millions of online shoppers in the process.

Our report published this morning on Five Global Marketplaces All Brands Must Know (client access required) focuses on the opportunities and challenges of selling through global marketplaces. In the report, we profile:

Amazon. The giant of US online retail offers brands more than just a point of entry into the US market – brand store options are available in all 10 markets in North America, Europe and Asia in which the company operates marketplaces.

eBay. eBay's global offerings are growing rapidly: Current marketplace options for brands in countries such as the US, the UK and Australia being supplemented with new offerings in emerging eCommerce markets. The company has taken innovative steps to tap into the cross-border online shopper. 

MercadoLibre. This long-time leader in Latin American eCommerce has rolled out enhanced brand store options over the past year, opening up opportunities for brands looking to tap into the millions of new consumers starting to shop online in the region every year.

Rakuten. Japan’s top online marketplace has spent the past few years extending its global empire, acquiring companies across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company's brand store options are well developed in Japan and expanding in other markets.

Tmall. With over 100,000 brands on the site today, Alibaba’s Tmall has become a critical destination for brands looking to enter China’s massive eCommerce market.  For some brands, Tmall supplements their existing online sales channels – for others, it is their sole eCommerce offering in the country.

We’ll continue to look at this space as all of these marketplaces further build out their brand store offerings and make it increasingly easy for brands to use these platforms to extend their online reach.