Online marketplaces are increasing in popularity in Australia

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A new report from PayPal that looks at M-commerce (mobile commerce) in Australia shows that shopping online using mobile devices continues to grow and online marketplaces are increasingly popular with shoppers.

Nearly nine-in-ten smartphone users (89%) are shopping on online marketplaces, with half saying they do so at least once a month (49%). In fact, marketplaces (48%) have become a top destination for Australian shoppers to browse for products when they have a purchase in mind, trumping search engines (43%) and online retail stores (29%). Despite the recent entrance of Amazon into the Australian market in December 2017, eBay remains the most popular marketplace for Australian consumers (79%).

Australian businesses are aware of the power of online marketplaces with two-in-five (44%) selling on marketplaces and 16% selling exclusively via marketplaces. Free delivery (61%), low prices (57%) and protected purchases including buyer guarantees and free return shipping (51%) are key drivers for consumer use of marketplaces, according to the report.

The popularity of marketplaces down under is in part attributable to the rise in mobile usage for shopping:

As consumer dependency on technology accelerates, so too do expectations of mobile experiences. Our research found that nearly half of Australians (47 percent) are annoyed when a site doesn’t work well on a mobile and almost a third (30 percent) of mobile shoppers have abandoned a purchase due to lack of mobile-optimisation or because of security concerns (29 percent).
– Libby Roy, managing director Australia, PayPal

One interesting aspect of the Australian marketplace experience is that eBay is bigger than Amazon. This is, to a great extent, because Amazon was fairly late to the party in terms of setting up a dedicated Australian marketplace. Amazon Australia opened for business late last year but eBay has had a local presence since 1999.

Another problem has been the GST, the Goods and Services Tax, that was applied to all ecommerce imports earlier this year. eBay enabled its marketplace so that it took care of the GST for buyers and merchants. Amazon took a different tack and prevented Australian shoppers from importing.

Online marketplaces


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