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Third-party marketplace sales to account for 59% of all global ecommerce by 2027

Amazon Prime; one of the key players in digital media

Third-party online marketplaces are set to be the largest and fastest-growing retail channel globally, accounting for nearly two thirds of online sales by 2027, with the four largest global online marketplaces – Amazon, Alibaba, Pinduoduo and – responsible for $4.3trn in global sales, up from $2.5 trillion today.

According to the annual 2022 Future of Marketplaces Report from Edge by Ascential, by 2027, third-party sales through marketplaces will be the largest and fastest-growing retail channel globally, adding more than $1.3trn in sales by 2027 and accounting for 38% of all global retail sales growth. First-party ecommerce sales will shrink from 44% today to 41% in 2027, adding $778bn in sales over the next five years. By then, third-party sellers through marketplaces will capture 59% of global ecommerce sales, up from 56% in 2022.

Alibaba will continue to be the global leader in retail sales by 2027, growing total net GMV sales – ecommerce and bricks and mortar – in 2027 to $1.5trn. Amazon will be the second-largest online retail marketplace with $1.2trn in total net GMV sales in 2027. 

The number of third-party marketplaces operating globally has jumped by more than 500% since 2007, with Edible grocery set to be the fastest-growing category for third-party online sales between 2022-2027, with third-party sales compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%. Household and Pet Care will be the second-fastest-growing category, with 10.6% CAGR growth for third-party sales and third-party sales in the office supplies category growing at 10.5% CAGR.

In China, third-party sales currently account for almost 80% of online sales.

By 2027,the report notes, the four largest global marketplace leaders – Alibaba, Amazon, Pinduoduo and – will account for $4.3trn in global retail sales, almost 66.5% of global ecommerce sales. All five of the leading global retailers–Amazon, Alibaba, Pinduoduo, and Walmart–will operate a third-party marketplace.

“The most successful retailers, both now and in the future, will operate third-party marketplaces,” says Deren Baker, CEO of Edge by Ascential. “Between 2022 and 2027, data forecasts from Edge by Ascential suggest that third-party marketplaces will be the largest and fastest-growing retail channel globally. The four largest global marketplace leaders of today– Amazon, Alibaba, Pinduoduo and–all operate growing third-party marketplaces and are increasingly prioritizing this model as a core part of their commerce strategy. Edge Retail Insight’s forecasting software anticipates that by the end of 2027, these four marketplaces will account for more than two-thirds of global ecommerce sales – first-party and third-party. The consumer brands that will be most successful in this new retail environment will align with the right marketplace partners, optimize their unique capabilities to use all elements of the marketplace flywheel and leverage real-time data and insights to respond effectively to competitive intelligence, performance blockers and changing market conditions.”

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