Through an inadvertent disclosure of information, Amazon has allowed all of us to do the math figuring out that Amazon generates 27% of the sales in German e-commerce. Even though the German marketplace boasts half as many retailers as the US marketplace, Amazon does quite a lot of business in the middle-European country – accounting for over a quarter of all e-commerce sales.

Amazon money
© rvlsoft /

Last year, Amazon's global trade volume amounted to $277 billion. Third-party retailers made up $160 billion of that trading volume. In the current e-mail to its retailers, Amazon also explained that half of them came from the USA. That means that the US market is worth $80 billion to Amazon. In order to reach the value for Germany, this turnover amount only needs to be divided by 7, and, after converting it to Euros, it amounts to €10.2 billion.

Amazon's total trading volume on the German marketplace is €17.67 billion. Knowing this allows us to reach further conclusions: A few months ago, Jeff Bezos mentioned that marketplace retailers account for 58% of Amazon's total turnover. Amazon's own contribution is therefore 42%. Assuming this ratio is basically correct in every country, Amazon's total trade volume (gross) should be around €17.67 billion. 

German Online Revenues

Armed with these figures, Amazon's share of sales in the German online market is around 27%. This can be calculated by the figures issued, e.g. by the German Retail Association (HDE) for the German market. For 2018, e-commerce revenue in Germany was expected to have amounted to €53.4 billion (net). If the figures derived from the Amazon e-mail are now transferred to net, this results in a net marketplace turnover of €8.57 billion and a total trading volume (net) of €14.78 billion. This is an impressive position, but by no means as overpowering as was often assumed in the past.

How Amazon Stacks Up

The direct comparison to other online retailers and platforms is also interesting. Otto, which is also increasingly becoming a platform, had, for example, turned over €3.2 billion in 2018. Zalando, on the other hand, reached a gross trade volume of €6.6 billion last year, according to Handelsblatt

Unclear is, however, how Amazon's marketplace turnover looks compared to turnover for German eBay retailers. Similar to its competitor, eBay does not disclose the volume of trade of its retailers. According to the assessment of Prof. Dr. Gerrit Heinemann, however, this could be higher than that of Amazon on the basis of the known commission turnover.

Amazon Watchblog has a German language version of this article.


Amazon has commented on the alleged leak. The following statement was issued to our German language news source, OnlinehändlerNews:

"These numbers are in no way accurate. The person who compiled this information has used numbers that have nothing to do with third-party sales at Amazon. This is due solely to a human error and it would be wrong to assume that these figures say anything about Amazon's business in Germany or around the world."