Online marketplaces in Germany: Alternatives to Amazon and Co.

The study “Interactive Retail in Germany 2016” by the Federal Association of Ecommerce and Mail Order Business (bevh) shows that German consumers are increasingly purchasing goods online. The gross turnover in eCommerce in 2016, for example, amounted to 52.74 billion euros. This represents a 12.5 percent increase over the previous year and now accounts for almost 13 percent of the total retail volume. The top sellers, according to the bevh, are online marketplaces, which contribute more than half to the total volume of eCommerce with a turnover of 26.72 billion euros.

A glimpse at the Amazon and eBay situation will be worthwhile

With an increasing number of competitors, it is becoming increasingly difficult for online retailers and manufacturers to reach customers directly over the Internet. Interest is thus gaining all the more in large online marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay, whose appeal is based upon a broad assortment and a high trading volume. The advantages for customers are clearly obvious, since there are many products available on these platforms that can be easily compared and purchased. This is particularly beneficial to SMEs or specialist retailers who are more rapidly recognised by their target group in online marketplaces.

For online retailers, the pressures of predatory competition are increasing. Online marketplaces offer an additional sales channel with attractive possibilities.

For online retailers, the pressures of predatory competition are increasing. Online marketplaces offer an additional sales channel with attractive possibilities.

But online marketplaces amount to more than just Amazon or eBay and a closer look will be beneficial. Providers who are specialised in specific product groups enable retailers to adopt an approach specific to their target group. These niche or special-interest portals are ideal for online retailers and manufacturers who do not have the necessary resources for a broader presence in the larger marketplaces. The Federal Association of Online Retail (BVOH) has compiled a comprehensive overview of all online marketplaces in Europe and has named 27 such providers for Germany alone. The BVOH also lists eight German marketplaces for the high-turnover fashion sector:

Gauging the strengths and weaknesses of individual online marketplaces

When selecting appropriate online marketplaces, you should consider as a retailer or manufacturer that not every marketplace addresses the same target group. Check out which provider best fits to your concept, your product range and your customers. A customer who is interested in individual and handmade products, for example, will prefer to shop on DaWanda as opposed to Amazon or eBay. When such a niche market seems a viable alternative to the bigger generalists, then you should look carefully when selecting marketplaces at the sales, the average shopping carts and the marketing services involved. In addition, the costing models and time spent on inserting the products, as well as the processing of sales, will play a decisive role.

Sales increase versus preserving the brand image

The downside of “Amazonisation” is that price transparency in online marketplaces creates enormous pricing pressure. Additionally, brand manufacturers are faced with the challenge of protecting their brand image despite lacking advice or poor presentation. Adidas, for example, drew its initial conclusions and forbade the sale of its own products on marketplaces to ensure an adequate presentation of the goods and also to protect their own brand image. In our article titled Discounting wars in online retail we show you how you can avoid pricing pressure through exclusive premium offerings and distance yourself from the competition with effective branding.

With blackbee price and retailer monitoring, you will protect your brands and secure long-term competitiveness using a demand-based price setting. blackbee evaluates your data and the data of other competitors, helping you to react faster and more efficiently to current events in online retail.

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