The average consumer now shops on three marketplaces when purchasing online as challengers grow in popularity. While shoppers are open to expanding their options, Amazon holds their trust with 42% saying they trust Amazon versus 34% for a brand’s direct-to-consumer website, and 21% for other private marketplaces.
These findings come from new research by Rithum, the global ecommerce company formerly known as CommerceHub and ChannelAdvisor. The brand surveyed 1,000 consumers and 250 ecommerce decision makers in the UK to discover how consumers are changing their shopping habits and how brands are preparing for ongoing sales challenges in 2024.
Fear of missing out on a deal has also been found to influence purchase decisions, with half (51%) of respondents admitting to abandoning a purchase if they suspect the price could be better elsewhere or decrease in the future. This trend coincides with the popularity of marketplaces, where consumers, enabled by features like price comparison and reviews, can shop around for the best value.
The research highlighted the power of Amazon’s marketplace adverts with 39% purchasing after seeing an ad on Amazon, compared to only a quarter (23%) discovering products through Google ads.
The path to purchase is becoming increasingly fragmented as consumers visit multiple sites before completing a transaction. Consumers are consistently shopping around to find the best product and prices and customer experience — and they’re willing to jump ship at the first sign of subpar selling.– Phillip Hall, managing director of EMEA, Rithum
Ecommerce brands expanding marketplaces to adapt to customer preferences
The survey of 250 ecommerce executives in retailers and brands with turnover of over £50 million identified the biggest challenges and opportunities for businesses selling online in 2024. Businesses that reported performing worse than expected in 2023 cited the highly competitive marketplace and lower consumer spending as the biggest factors.
Of those that performed better than expected the increasing number of marketplaces played an important role. Two fifths (41%) cited marketplace diversification and expanding sales channels as the main drivers behind the stronger results.
When asked about marketplace strategy for 2024, Amazon and eBay came out on top followed by Temu and SHEIN. With marketplaces playing an important role in the new year, unsurprisingly marketplace distribution and product listing are areas that brands and retailers are already outsourcing or looking to outsource imminently.
When asked what barriers brands and retailers expected to face in 2024, meeting consumer sustainability expectations, heightened consumer expectations and higher return rates were the main issues highlighted. Almost half (42%) of respondents are also planning to, or already outsourcing inventory management.
Brands and retailers need to join consumers in their multichannel approach. This doesn’t necessarily mean extending your presence to hundreds of marketplaces. Instead, use a diverse set of tactics including retail media and social media marketing to simply remind shoppers of your brand, where they are shopping.
As marketplaces continue to operate as online destinations consumers enjoy experiencing, they are replacing the much-loved brick-and-mortar department store. Consumers look to marketplaces for the wide selection of products, safe, secure transactions, familiar, comfortable experience and fast, reliable shipping.
Marketplaces have set a standard that many major retailers are now looking to replicate. And, as an e-commerce seller, your strategy must approach finding the best environments for selling products across multiple marketplaces.-Phillip Hall, managing director of EMEA, Rithum