Online marketplaces: A magnet for mobile shoppers

Sep 02 2019 | PayPal editorial staff

Online marketplaces have fundamentally shaped the Australian ecommerce and mobile commerce landscape, while also impacting the way traditional bricks and mortar stores do business. The 2018 PayPal mCommerce Index, our fifth report that looks at the trends shaping mobile commerce in Australia, showed that online marketplace momentum is growing, with close to nine-in-ten Australian consumers (89%) shopping on online marketplaces.
But why are consumers choosing to lean so heavily on marketplace environments? And how can Australian businesses leverage the these new, old and emerging platforms to their advantage?

The power of online marketplaces

Looking at consumer habits towards online marketplaces, the 2018 PayPal mCommerce Index revealed that eBay continues to be Australias favourite marketplace (79%) followed by Amazon (40%) and Etsy (17%). Online marketplaces are now the top destination for Australian shoppers to browse for products when they have a purchase in mind, and even trumped search engines (43%)! It is clear that they are not just a shopping platform, but a frequented destination for consumers.
For Australian retailers, this presents a huge opportunity to tap into an engaged and active consumer base. Marketplaces can not only help broaden reach through direct product searches but can drive new customers who may be simply browsing. In fact, a third (33%) of Australian consumers browse marketplaces for fun without any specific purchase in mind.
For Australian businesses it is critical to think about where your consumers are hanging out, and what the point of discovery might be. The right marketplace could form a valuable part of your sales strategy. But it is important to recognise online marketplaces as one of many potential sales channels, that needs to fit into your overarching ecommerce and mCommerce strategies.

Why marketplaces?

So, what is drawing consumers to marketplaces? Our research found that consumers listed free delivery (61%), low prices (57%) and protected purchases like buyer guarantees and free return shipping (51%) as the top reasons for buying through marketplaces. There are also added benefits in using a marketplace to shop  for example, eBay consumers know that they can pay with PayPal and have free returns on any eligible product they purchase, while also being protected by PayPals Buyer Protection in case the product they ordered wasnt quite right  thats a strong safety-net.
Our research shows that Australians like to use online marketplaces to compare prices to online stores (22%), but there are hesitations. One-in-ten (11%) Australians are sceptical of brands that only sell through online marketplaces, demonstrating that a marketplace should be part of your online sales strategy, and not a businesswhole strategy.
Online marketplaces are clearly popular with Australian consumers and have the potential to drive both traffic and increase brand awareness. Selecting the right online marketplace can enhance a brands ecommerce and mCommerce strategy, making it easier to build trust, grow an already engaged customer base and importantly, make it even it easier for consumers to interact via mobile.

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.