Definition of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is a metric commonly used in digital marketing and e-commerce, which represents the total value of products sold through a marketplace or an online platform, before any deductions for fees, returns, or discounts. It is a key indicator of a company’s performance and growth, showcasing the overall sales volume generated over a specific period. However, it is crucial to note that GMV does not directly represent revenue, as it does not account for costs, expenses, or net profit margins.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)” is:Gross: /ɡrəʊs/ (g-rowse)Merchandise: /ˈmɜːrʧəndaɪz/ (m-urch-an-dize)Value: /ˈvælju/ (v-al-u)(GMV): /ɡi ɛm vi/ (g-m-v)

Key Takeaways

  1. Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is a crucial metric to measure the total sales volume of an e-commerce platform or marketplace within a specific period.
  2. GMV doesn’t take into account returns, cancellations, discounts, or any other costs, so it may not precisely reflect the net revenue or profit of a business.
  3. Despite its limitations, GMV helps businesses to understand their market position, evaluate growth potential, and track the overall performance of their platform or marketplace.

Importance of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is an important digital marketing term as it represents the total value of all goods and services sold through an online platform within a specific time period.

This metric offers valuable insights into an e-commerce company’s performance, providing crucial data to assess growth potential, customer spending patterns, and overall market share.

By evaluating GMV, businesses can formulate effective marketing strategies, identify revenue-generating trends, and allocate resources efficiently to maximize profitability.

Furthermore, monitoring GMV enables companies to gauge the success of their marketing campaigns and promotions, which is critical for driving sales and delivering long-term success in an increasingly competitive digital ecosystem.


Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) serves as a vital metric in digital marketing, primarily used for assessing the overall performance and growth of an e-commerce business. Although GMV represents the total value of goods and services sold over a particular period, it encompasses a deeper purpose in providing stakeholders with critical insights about consumer trends, purchasing behaviors, and pricing strategies.

By monitoring the GMV closely and consistently, a business can make data-driven decisions that lead to enhanced sales performance, increased revenue, and a strong competitive edge in the ever-evolving digital marketplace. More than just a mere performance indicator, GMV also functions as an invaluable tool for identifying areas of improvement or potential bottlenecks within an organization’s sales funnel.

As a key benchmark that helps businesses evaluate the effectiveness of various marketing efforts and promotional campaigns, GMV sheds light on aspects that demand optimization or modification to bolster outcomes and optimize resource allocation. Furthermore, this metric offers a holistic approach towards understanding which products or services resonate most with a company’s target audience, thus empowering decision-makers to fine-tune their offerings, maximize customer satisfaction, and ultimately, drive sustainable growth and long-term business success.

Examples of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)

Example 1: eCommerce MarketplaceIn 2020, Amazon, a leading eCommerce marketplace, reported a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of approximately $490 billion. This figure refers to the total value of all goods sold on the platform, including products sold by Amazon itself and by third-party sellers. GMV is a key metric for Amazon to showcase the overall scale and growth of its marketplace.Example 2: Online Food Delivery PlatformDoorDash, a popular food delivery service, reported a GMV of $

2 billion in its Q1 2021 earnings report. This represents the total value of all food and other goods ordered through DoorDash’s platform during the given period. By tracking GMV, DoorDash can measure their effectiveness in connecting customers with merchants and assess their overall performance in the digital marketing space.Example 3: Online Clothing StoreZalando, an online fashion retailer, reported a GMV of €

7 billion in

This demonstrates the total value of all clothing and accessories sold on their platform throughout the year. Zalando uses GMV as one of its key performance indicators in their digital marketing strategy to evaluate their growth rate in terms of sales and customer engagement.

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) FAQ

1. What is Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)?

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is the total value of the merchandise sold through an e-commerce platform or marketplace over a specified period of time. It is a key metric to measure the growth and success of e-commerce businesses. GMV is calculated by multiplying the total number of items sold by their selling price.

2. How is GMV different from Revenue?

GMV represents the total value of merchandise sold, while revenue is the actual income generated by an e-commerce business. Revenue is calculated by subtracting the costs, returns, discounts, and other charges from the GMV. In other words, GMV is the top-line figure, and revenue is the bottom-line figure after accounting for all business expenses.

3. Why is GMV important for e-commerce businesses?

GMV is an essential metric as it helps to measure the growth and success of an e-commerce business. It indicates the overall scale and size of the business, and businesses often use it as a benchmark to compare their performance with competitors. However,GMV should not be considered in isolation, as a high GMV doesn’t necessarily translate to high profits or business sustainability.

4. What factors can impact GMV?

Several factors can impact GMV, including the number of active customers, order frequency, customer retention, seasonality, discounts and promotions, product mix, and marketplace competition. Monitoring these factors can help e-commerce businesses to make informed decisions and optimize their operations for growth.

5. How can e-commerce businesses improve their GMV?

E-commerce businesses can improve their GMV by focusing on strategies such as increasing the average order value, boosting customer retention, expanding the product range, offering personalized customer experiences, running targeted promotions, and optimizing the website for better conversion rates. It’s essential to monitor performance using GMV and other key metrics to identify growth opportunities and areas for improvement.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Transaction Volume
  • E-commerce Metrics
  • Average Order Value (AOV)
  • Net Merchandise Value (NMV)
  • Total Sales Revenue

Sources for More Information

  • Investopedia –
  • Ecommerce Platforms –
  • Feedough –
  • BigCommerce –
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