Online B2C Marketplaces Continue Their Rapid Global Growth
Online B2C marketplaces continue to grow their share of online retail: In 2023, we anticipate that two-thirds of global B2C e-commerce will come from marketplaces. Marketplace dynamics are evolving, however, and government regulation is growing. Social commerce and fast delivery logistics help differentiate marketplaces, and discount marketplaces that sell cheaper, lower-priced items see fast growth.
Forrester’s newly published 2022 Online Marketplace Tracker, Global helps retailers understand global B2C e-commerce and marketplace trends for 22 marketplaces across 17 countries and tracks future and historical growth trajectories from 2015 to 2023. Some highlights:
- Changing market share across global regions. Amazon’s global gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2021 was 76% larger than in 2019. Fully 41% of total US e-commerce now comes from Amazon, up from 33% in 2018. By contrast, in China, Tmall lost market share in 2021, with stronger competition from Pindoudou and JD.com. In 2021, Shopee was the fastest-growing marketplace, driving engagement through its coins, livestreaming, and games.
- Fast delivery times differentiate marketplaces. Mercado Libre’s 85% control of its logistical network enables same-day delivery for most products. In Brazil, for faster delivery times, more than 85% of Shopee’s sales are from local sellers. Amazon is on track to double its fulfillment capacity, which delivers 56% of its global marketplace orders, since the pandemic’s early days. Helped by JD Logistics, which fulfills over half of JD.com’s online orders, JD.com delivers 90% of its online orders on the same or next day.
- “3-P” sales continue to drive marketplace sales growth. Third-party (“3-P”) sellers will drive more than 70% of marketplace sales growth in 2022 and 2023 to capture more than half of global B2C e-commerce. Forrester’s global marketplace tracker predicts that two-thirds of Amazon’s marketplace GMV will come from 3-P sellers in 2023. In Latin America, in the first quarter of 2022, Magalu saw 16% growth in marketplace sales and a 50% rise in third-party seller sales — and Via Varejo’s 3-P sales grew six times faster than first-party (“1-P”) sales.
- Marketplace regulation is increasing. Although marketplaces help drive incremental sales, Forrester’s Global State Of Brand Manufacturers Survey shows that sellers worry about brand erosion, channel conflict with other accounts/distributors, access to customer data, and the sale of counterfeit goods that fuel a gray market economy. Europe is expected to launch its Digital Markets Act in 2022. This regulation aims to force marketplaces to share customer data and allow sellers to independently verify the reach of marketplace ads and ensure that marketplaces can only use search results that come from competitive tender. In China, Operation Cyber Sword is regulating live commerce platforms and constraining unfair online market competition.
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