With much of the world taking to shopping on the internet in recent years, as evidenced by the global ecommerce sales growth, businesses need to have a presence on online marketplaces to grow.

But just what are the top online marketplaces and their sales potential?

According to the latest data analyzing the 100 biggest online marketplaces of 2021, these marketplaces raked in $2.1 trillion in sales last year, which makes up more than 65 percent of the total online sales generated in the whole year.

Spurred by the pivot to ecommerce, which analysts say was accelerated by five years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, 2021’s sales from the world’s top ecommerce marketplaces marked an 18 percent annual increase. 

The majority of these sales took place on the top 100 marketplaces, which analysts say were responsible for more than 90 percent of the global marketplace sales. 

Interestingly, more than half of these marketplaces are located in North America. Another 22 are located in Europe, and the remaining seven are spread across Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

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Biggest Online Marketplaces: Top Five

Ranked by gross merchandise value (GMV), which is the total value of products sold, China’s Taobao tops the list of the biggest online marketplaces with a GMV of $711 billion.

This is followed by Tmall, short for Taobao Mall and also based in China, which sold $672 billion worth of goods in 2020.

Though they both have similar names, Tmall is actually a spin-off from Taobao. Unlike Taobao, which is a C2C (customer-to-customer) platform, Tmall is mostly considered to be B2C (business-to-customer).

US ecommerce giant Amazon, currently the top ecommerce company in the world in terms of market value, is the third biggest online marketplace. In 2021, its GMV came in at $390 billion.

These top three marketplaces alone were responsible for more than half (54.9 percent) of the total amount of sales from online marketplaces in 2021.

In fourth place is another Chinese marketplace, JD.com. The Beijing-headquartered online retailer sold $244 billion of merchandise last year. Wrapping up the top five is eBay with $87 billion in GMV.

Of these top online marketplaces, three are based in China and two in the United States, which, incidentally, are also the two largest contributors to the growing ecommerce sales.

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