Online marketplaces set to exceed $7 trillion by 2024

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Pan-European financial services advisory firm iBe has today found that online marketplaces could be worth as much as $7 trillion in sales by 2024 should organisations capitalise on the full potential of the marketplace trend.

Currently, marketplaces contribute $1.7 trillion to the economy each year and in retail ecommerce accounts for as much as half (50%) of sales annually. However, iBe predicts that sales driven from marketplaces are likely to exceed $7 trillion in the next five years, hailing a new era in ecommerce.

This rise is driven by more and more companies embracing marketplaces as the best platform to facilitate online sales, expedite cross border expansion, increase product range and improve logistics, costs and operations.

Business to business (B2B) marketplaces, such as Alibaba in China or Conrad in Germany, present the biggest growth opportunity.

Currently, only $600 billion, a mere 7.5% of the annual $7.9 trillion worth of online B2B sales, are made via marketplaces. However, as businesses begin to realise the benefits of trading with partners via marketplace platforms and as more companies trade online, B2B sales will continue to grow.

Similarly, iBe forecasts that business to consumer (B2C) marketplaces, which form the most developed sector led by Amazon, Rakuten, Deliveroo and many others and is currently responsible for $1.1 trillion of marketplace sales, could be worth an estimated $3.5 trillion by 2024, accounting for over 70% of all online B2C sales.

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Peer to peer (P2P) marketplaces such as eBay or Airbnb are the best known to consumers but are significantly lower in sales volumes than the other two categories, due to the nature of their business.

Current P2P marketplace sales represent 60% of that category’s overall online sales and are presently at $30 billion. In iBe’s estimation these types of marketplaces are expected to generate over $240 billion by 2024, accounting for 90% of overall online P2P sales.

Francesco Scarnera, CEO at iBe said: “Navigating new paths to business growth can prove challenging, however by enlisting the help of trusted advisors, solutions to roadblocks can be found. Marketplaces have the potential to be a new era in ecommerce, and we look forward to continuing to explore this with our clients.”

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