Small fish beware – e-commerce is increasingly only allowing the big fish to get bigger. Although e-commerce is still growing, only the major players are showing any real, worthwhile growth. Why is that?

Shops with profits
© Sira Anamwong /

Getting those sales to increase is harder and harder for smaller online stores. This is a worrying development in Germany, writes “The growth is increasingly shifting to the top in e-commerce, an increase in sales is becoming increasingly difficult for smaller online retailers”.

Marketplace Activity On The Rise as well as other online sources like noticed that after a decline in previous years, more online retailers are using marketplaces as a supplementary sales channel again. A huge number in the top 1,000 online shops in Germany are active on Amazon – 43%, whilst 35% are active on eBay.

The Top 3

The top 3 online shops in Germany account for 43% of the top 100’s total sales. If we widen the scope to include the top 1,000 biggest online stores, the numbers are shocking: €17.2 billion were generated by the top 10, €13.3 billion were generated by the stores that ranked from 11 to 100, whilst €8.5 billion were generated by shops 101 to 500. Finally, €3.7 billion were generated by the second half of the top 1,000.

Onlineshop growth chart

Data analyst Christoph Langenberg from EHI comments:

“Market growth is driven disproportionately by the top-selling retailers, and we are seeing an overall increase of marketplace activity, with more and more bigger online retailers operating marketplaces themselves, which are increasingly being used by others to benefit from a greater reach”.