In this series of blogposts, we are listing online marketplaces that you can consider selling on, instead of or in addition to setting up your own WooCommerce store, to target a larger customer base. In part 1, we spoke about the stores in the US. For the second post in the series, we are telling you where you can sell online in Europe, from France, to Italy, to Germany, the UK (at least till Brexit actually happens) and other countries in the union.
Europe, with over 40 countries, 200 languages and 220 online marketplaces can be a real game-changer for your business. And it’s considered a largely mature e-commerce system, although how Brexit will affect it is yet to be seen.
In this list, we will not include the likes of global marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, as they have been covered before.
In terms of product range, Fruugo is fairly extensive, although its customer base is still on a growth curve. From sports and leisure to beauty, electronics, kids’ products, food, drink and even home and garden, there is a space for all kinds of businesses. It’s catered to the multilingual market and provides translation for your products in 11 languages, converts prices to those many currencies, and there are no joining fees.
However, they charge 15% on the total cart as commission and a funds processing fee which can total up to a steep price. Also, your business has to be registered in one of the 23 countries they sell in (which includes Canada and US), to be eligible as a seller.
As with several other large e-commerce stores, there is a plugin to integrate it with WooCommerce.
A little unimaginatively named, Folksy, which can be considered a counterpart to Etsy, is actually a pretty good marketplace for selling crafted products in Britain. This could be something as small as a handmade card or a piece of jewellery, wooden openers, paintings, food products, theme stationery or accessories. The fees are around 6% excluding the listed VAT, and monthly fees which vary depending on if you choose the basic or the premium account. It’s not too bad considering the niche and its growing customer-base. It is for UK artists, designers and artisans only, to help take their products to the world.
Love video games? Want to make money from it? Well, UK has a videogame retailing marketplace online and we now have seen everything that e-commerce could throw at us! The portal sells everything, from merchandise, computer components and video game sets, games for various platforms and even comic books, basically covering every aspect of nerdiness out there.
For niche products, it is best to go to niche marketplaces such as these, so that you can target the perfect audience. Gamers and geeks are more likely to land here than on Amazon to check out new stuff. And you should not miss their eye.
The Polish e-commerce website is a huge hit in Eastern Europe, moving from being an auction site to a trading platform, and having 20 million customers. They sell everything, from groceries to electronics, sports equipment and automobiles. If you’re looking to target the not-mainstream part of Europe, this one is your place to be on.
You can use this service to integrate it with WooCommerce, but it comes at a price.
This French one-stop-shop is another huge hit in Europe, and sells everything on its portal. Although the overall look and feel of the site is not as clean, it does get you the visibility with the right audience. The monthly package is around €50 with VAT, so it is not cheap. But the European market is large, as we said at the beginning, and an entry here is easiest through an established platform.
Sweden’s up-and-coming ecommerce website is yet another source for your expanding business. They charge no fixed fees, only on product sales. The signing up process too is fairly straightforward.
Their promise is easy and quick delivery so you may want to make sure your stock is in shape before you start selling. They sell electronics, accessories, health, beauty products and have categories including fashion, children and entertainment.
Setting up shop on eMAG is extensive, but guarantees a wide market reach. You also get access to analytics and data, so you know how well your sales are going, and can manage orders and deliveries accordingly. They charge a commission for sales but there are no other fixed costs. However, you may need a person manning the listings, if you don’t already have someone so you should factor in that cost.
Its main markets are Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and Hungary. You can also use this plugin to integrate it with WooCommerce.
For those in the Scandinavian countries (northern Europe), CoolShop is a really, well, cool marketplace. It has an ever-growing product category list which now includes games, toys, electronics, home and kitchen, beauty, music, movies and even a fan shop and merchandise, for all your pop-culture indulgence.
Like most European marketplaces, it offers currency conversion and calculates VAT and taxes for the different markets. Commission-based fees are anywhere between 6%-15%, but it’s relatively easy to set up shop and they have been in the space for 15 years, so their network is good.
And there is even a plugin or two to connect it with your online store, be it WooCommerce or Shopify.
If you want to sell your products in the Netherlands and Belgium, then Bol.com is the place to be. They have a huge monthly visitor count and a strong market domination. Product categories include books, music, film, games, household, sports, school supplies and more.
There are a couple of downsides to it, though. First, they charge both a fixed fee and a transactional fee. Second, you have to first register your business in either of the two countries, even if you have it registered in any other European country.
Integrate with WooCommerce using this service.
Flubit is already integrated with WooCommerce, so all you have to do is integrate your store with Flubit. It is a growing company in UK and sells products across all the categories you could think of: books, electronics, software, office and home supplies, automobiles and more.
Flubit’s fees work a little differently. There is no commission involved. You give them a base price and that’s what you pocket, regardless of the amount it was actually sold for. And with Flubit, you also have the option of targeting customers dealing in crypto currency.
It’s not an endorsement, but if you want to stay abreast with a new style of online business, Flubit seems to be it. Integrate it with WooCommerce using this plugin.
The largest online marketplace in Hungary, Jófogás, is a bit of a niche, with electronics, games, adventure and sports as their general theme. You can also sell real estate online or post jobs. You can register as a store, and pay around 25 000 Hungarian Forint (HUF) per month for the standard package (1HUF = 0.0031 Euros). It’s a niche market, so you may want to think before you set up shop.
One parameter to choose the online platform you want to sell on is to figure whether you want to continue for the next few years as an indie business or a full-fledged brand (So, ask yourself if you want to be the next Nike or Vero Moda, or be known for your bespoke, boutique products, or simply be a trader).
Marketplaces like Otto (which is concentrated in Germany) are great if you are looking to build a brand, and are looking for a trading partner to help with finding customers and managing online e-commerce presence.
In Europe, UK is a bigger e-commerce market than others, and as an English-speaking region, important if your business is situated outside Europe. One important online marketplace is the relatively young OnBuy, which pitches itself ‘as a direct alternative to Amazon’. Because it is new, it is ideal for both niche products and branded consumerist items.
They have standard seller packages, which also guarantee a minimum sales amount per month. There is a selling fee involved depending on the kind of product you sell, and ranges from 5%-9%. There are also transaction charges. Together, it might be a little steep, but if you have decent profit margins, it should not be a problem.
And of course you can integrate it with your WooCommerce store.
A household name in France and a strong fashion marketplace across most of Europe, Spartoo would be a dream marketplace for anyone looking to sell shoes, bags, clothes and anything in the category. While entry is not easy (you have to guarantee a minimum of 250 SKU), and there is both a membership fee and a commission of upto 20%, it’s popularity may help you enter the big league in the industry.
Real is among the largest online marketplaces in Germany, selling several product categories including home and garden, electronics, fashion, accessories, camping and baby items, among others. They charge both a monthly fee and a sales commission.
You can use this service to help guide you to sell on the marketplace.
Europe, especially economies such as France, UK and Germany, are emerging as leading marketplaces not just within the EU but globally as well. For businesses looking to go beyond national borders, now is a great time join the bandwagon. Remember one thing though. A lot of European marketplaces need your business to be registered in one of the European nations. Thus, it may be easier if you are already a seller in one of the Euro nations and want to sell to others.
Next up, marketplaces in Asia.