Marketplace shoppers regularly browse online sites, making an average of two purchases each month, according to the latest Royal Mail Delivery Matters UK Marketplaces 2017 Report. The study asked 1,000 UK online marketplace shoppers about their marketplace shopping habits. This is the first time Royal Mail has dedicated a report to marketplace shoppers.
Report indicates challenges for Royal Mail
Unsurprisingly the UK Marketplaces 2017 report finds Amazon and eBay are the busiest, with 80% of marketplace shoppers buying monthly from Amazon, including 17% doing so weekly. 76% of marketplace shoppers purchase from eBay every month and 16% do so on a weekly basis. This is actually bad news for Royal Mail as Amazon of course have built and are rapidly expanding their own fulfilment network. Every parcel delivered by Amazon Logistics, either from Amazon Retail or from FBA is one less for Royal Mail.
Men spend more but women shop more frequently
The majority of marketplace shoppers are female but male shoppers spend, on average, a third (31%) more than females per month (£67 vs £51). It found that clothes (32%) are the most commonly purchased item from online marketplaces, closely followed by books (31%).
Consumers are choosing to buy on marketplaces due to low prices and deals (76%) and the range of products available (70%). They pick marketplaces over online retailers because they can find better deals (60%), purchase items they can’t find elsewhere (51%) and there’s more variety of the item they’re looking for (38%).
Delivery options are key when shoppers choose between marketplace sellers and 75% of shoppers expect delivery times to be the same when ordering from an online marketplace as when they order from an online retailer. Fulfilment of delivery options is a driving force behind the choice of seller. It is important that online marketplace sellers use delivery options strategically to be a point of differentiation from competitors.
48% of shoppers cited offering free delivery on all items was more likely to convince them to buy – second only to if the seller offers the lowest price. This is of course utopia, the seller with the best price may only be more competitive because they’re charging separately for carriage compared to the seller offering free postage!
When it comes to returns, 59% of those surveyed said the returns experience would impact the rating they would give to a seller and 62% would be unlikely to shop with a seller again after a difficult returns experience. 78% expect the returns process with an online marketplace seller to be similar or easier than with online retailers.
You can download the full report from the Royal Mail website.