Online marketplaces in Germany: an overview of sales platforms

Marketplaces are clear drivers of online trade, as the EHI/Statista study "E-Commerce Market Germany 2021" shows. The online shop with the highest turnover is Amazon with a turnover of 13.9 billion euros in 2020. follows in second place with 4.5 billion euros, followed by Zalando with around 1.9 billion euros.

The generalists make up the largest share of the online shops with the highest turnover, namely 33.1 percent. Among the specialists, fashion providers are ahead with 16.2 percent.

Marketplaces therefore offer retailers enormous potential. Which one is best for you depends, for example, on the targeting, the fees incurred, the usability and marketing options. Here we briefly introduce five generalists.



Comparison of online marketplaces



Amazon dominates marketplace trading in Germany. There is a lot of competition here, not least from Amazon itself, because the company not only acts as a marketplace operator, but also as a retailer itself. The professional seller account costs a basic fee of 39 euros per month, plus percentage sales fees of between 7 and 15 percent, depending on the product category. It gets more expensive if you choose the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) option. In this case, Amazon takes over the storage, packaging, shipping and any returns. Manufacturers can register their brand on the marketplace and then create their own shop. Registered brands usually have the right to write their articles, can edit the product detail pages and also add additional content such as videos and detailed product texts and additional images (enhanced brand content). For many other retailers, however, the design of the product detail pages is limited because they simply attach to products that are already listed. Amazon also offers every retailer analysis tools and marketing measures, including various ad formats, volume discounts and vouchers, in their own account, Seller Central. Since the end of 2019, retailers have also been able to use the Vine program to generate reviews. For a long time, this service was only available to vendors. Amazon offers end customers more classic payment methods: direct debit, invoice, credit card and vouchers. The Amazon app is one of the most used applications in Germany.



Like Amazon, the number two marketplace in Germany originally comes from the USA. eBay grew as an auction house for used items from private individuals. In the meantime, the classifieds division no longer belongs to the company and ebay itself has blossomed into an established marketplace for commercial traders. According to their own information, more than 18 million buyers are active in Germany. A big difference to Amazon: ebay is not a dealer itself, but only a marketplace operator

Commercial sellers can set up their own ebay shop, which appears in a professional layout and with its own product search. There are four different subscriptions, each based on the company's trading volume: The basic shop costs EUR 39.95 per month, the top shop costs EUR 79.95, the premium shop EUR 299.95 and the platinum shop available for 4,999.95 euros. With an annual subscription, the fees are slightly reduced. In addition to the monthly fees, there is an offer fee and a sales commission. Each model offers various benefits, such as a larger number of free auctions, access to the marketing tool and discounted selling fee caps.

Each listed product appears separately on eBay, so customizing the product detail pages is easier here than on Amazon. You can even create your own layout to match the brand. With their so-called Seller Cockpit Pro, retailers can also place ads on eBay, set quantity discounts or create vouchers.

eBay offers payment service providers such as Adyen, Google Pay, Apple Pay and classic payment methods such as direct debit and credit cards. The company separated from PayPal in 2019.

Like Amazon, OTTO operates its own marketplace and acts as a retailer itself. According to their own statements, there are 11.5 million active buyers who place 10 orders per second. OTTO places comparatively strict minimum requirements on its partners. They must have a German company legal form and ship the goods from warehouses in Germany. Customer service in German is also required. In addition, OTTO places high demands on product quality and product data maintenance. All this should ultimately contribute to the customer experience and improve conversions. In order to guarantee these standards, OTTO checks its partners in advance and only then sends out an invitation link that can be used to start registration.

The monthly basic fee is €39.90, regardless of how many items are in the range. There is also a sales commission of 7-18%, depending on the range. The notice period is one month to the end of the month. Merchants must work with DHL, GLS or Hermes.

Retailers appear as sellers on the OTTO marketplace. The partner portal OTTO Partner Connect serves as a control center through which items can be uploaded and managed and information on the order status and payment processing can be viewed. The retailers take care of shipping and returns processing themselves.

Products are sold in the areas of furnishing & living, fashion & lifestyle, garden & DIY, sports & leisure, technology & media and health. Merchants selling products from other categories can still register and will be notified if they are added to the marketplace.

For more visibility and reach, retailers can book Sponsored Products Ads that appear prominently on or display ads on over 250 partner sites.

In 2021, the marketplace was taken over by Kaufland and has been running under this name ever since. According to its own statements, is one of the largest and fastest growing marketplaces in Germany. In 2023, Kaufland wants to cross national borders and open online marketplaces in the Czech Republic and Slovakia - the cornerstone of the "Kaufland Global Marketplace". With a registration, it should then be possible for dealers to sell on marketplaces in different countries. is said to have over 32 million visitors a month. With more than 5000 categories, almost every retailer should find their niche here.

The basic fee for access to the marketplace is EUR 39.95 per month. If you want to link your own online shop, it is 49.90 euros. There is no contract period. The listing of the products is free for dealers, they only have to pay a commission of between 7 and 16 percent, depending on the product category. In addition, the marketplace offers its retailers personal support and multi-channel marketing channels.



Hood was founded in Germany in 2000 and is now one of the largest and fastest growing online marketplaces in Germany with over 10 million customers. The marketplace sees itself as a fair alternative to Amazon and ebay. For this, Hood relies on customer-oriented service and a transparent and relatively cheap fee structure. Commercial sellers do not pay a listing fee, but only a sales commission of 3 to 8 percent and the monthly basic fee, which is 25 euros (Gold Shop) or 39 euros (Platinum Shop). With an annual subscription, the basic fee is slightly cheaper.

Hood offers interfaces to various payment service providers such as PayPal and Klarna, to shipping service providers, all leading merchandise management systems and management solutions for the marketplace business.

However, the display options for the products are somewhat limited, and numerous special options have to be purchased separately. For example, only one product image is free. Subtitles in the item description and selecting a second category also cost extra. Marketing opportunities are also limited. After all, retailers can deactivate advertisements within their article for a small fee. And: Items listed on Hood automatically appear in Google Shopping results.



How to find the right marketplace

  • Fees & Commissions: With most marketplaces, you have to be prepared for two major items: a basic monthly fee and a sales commission. Depending on the marketplace, you may only have a certain number of imports or listings included by default. In addition, there is often a one-time registration fee and a listing fee per article.

  • Orientation: There are marketplaces with a very wide range and others that specialize in certain product categories.

  • Internationalization: Some marketplaces allow selling worldwide, others within Europe and some only within Germany. So if you want to expand into foreign markets, not all marketplaces are suitable.

  • Interfaces & usability: Listing products manually and maintaining stocks can quickly become very time-consuming. Such processes can run automatically via interfaces to your web shop, to the ERP and the merchandise management system. The respective backend should be easy to use.

  • Competition & Reach: The danger in marketplaces is to get lost in the many other providers. On Amazon, you not only compete with other retailers, but also with Amazon itself. On smaller marketplaces, the wastage is lower, but so are the potential buyers.

  • Freedom of design: The options for designing product detail pages or even setting up your own shop on the marketplace vary greatly.

  • Marketing: Not all marketplaces offer the possibility to promote products. So if you plan to implement advertisements and other measures, find out about the options in advance

Online marketplaces are a challenge for corporate IT

Marketplaces offer a fairly simple entry into e-commerce. Retailers are practically jumping on the bandwagon: Consumers already know the marketplaces and the infrastructure is already there. In the case of Amazon, eBay and OTTO, retailers are also given direct access to the frequently used apps.

But: If dealers sell via several marketplaces and other channels, this entails a complex system landscape, because many dealers use software that is not designed for the requirements of highly automated e-commerce. In addition, every marketplace works with a different system and different data formats and therefore has different requirements for integration into existing systems such as ERP and merchandise management.

Typical problems are, for example, errors in the transmission of orders or overselling because the stock levels on the individual marketplaces cannot be kept up to date. If processes are not automated, this means a considerable amount of manual maintenance and many pitfalls.

So-called headless commerce platforms such as the ROQQIO Commerce Cloud provide a remedy, which separates the e-commerce world from the existing systems, homogenizes the channel-specific data of the marketplaces and minimizes processes, thus taking away the complexity of omnichannel trade. Retailers can adapt the modular SaaS application individually to their needs and thus remove the hurdles to e-commerce - without having to replace their existing infrastructure.


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Image source: Aleksei -

ROQQIO editorial staff

ROQQIO editorial staff

This article was created by the ROQQIO editorial team. PR and marketing experts write here on topics related to trends, technologies and developments in retail and retail marketing.

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