Global market places such as Alibaba and Amazon, will own a share of 39% in online retail by 2020. That is the expectation of a a group of global online retailers surveyed by Ecommerce Foundation and Nyenrode Business University. Retailers do however not consider marketplaces as a substantial threat to their future success. They rather have a very positive outlook regarding their future. Even though they expect market places to have a share of 39% in the global retail market, they believe that their company will grow as well.

By order of the Global E-commerce Summit, the Ecommerce Foundation, an independent non-profit organization, initiated the Rise of the Global Market Places research study, together with Nyenrode Business University. This study was powered by Adobe, Informatica, Lengow and LiveWords.


“According to the respondents, e-commerce platforms can indeed significantly increase domestic and international sales of retailers and brands, by helping them to reach more customers,” says Jorij Abraham, Research & Advice Director at the Ecommerce Foundation. “However, market places charge companies who want to use their services a hefty price, taking up a large part of their margins and profit.” In addition, retailers tend to overestimate their performance compared to that of market places, suggests the study. Generally speaking, retailers state that they outperform market places in almost every aspect, but especially in customer-oriented processes, such as customer experience and service. Only with regard to IT and Big Data, retailers are more reserved about their performance.

“This ‘The Rise of the Global Market Places’ study is a wake-up call for many retailers,” says Prof. Kitty Koelemeijer of Nyenrode Business University. “Retailers capitalize on their ability to excel in servicing customers while outsourcing part of their marketing efforts to market places. Companies who do not have a clear vision on their future fail to respond timely and will eventually fail.”

Global Marketplaces are growing at a tremendous pace, shows the data published in the study. The merchandise volume on  Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba together exceeds for instance the GDP of Finland or the Fillipines.