Marketplaces are taking the lead online

August 18, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

More than 40% of all post-pandemic online spending globally is taking place on marketplaces. With online set to account for 51% of all retail sales this year. 72% of global shoppers say that online shopping saved them in 2020. In addition, 73% see e-commerce as continuing to be important to them in 2021 and beyond.

A study found that 42% of spending went to Amazon, Alibaba,, Mercado Libre and eBay. More than a quarter of total UK e-commerce spend happening on Amazon alone. Shoppers seem wedded to the idea of marketplaces in the months and years ahead. Two-thirds (64%) saying they are excited by the prospect of buying everything through one retailer or marketplace in future.

However, one caveat is that 56% of global shoppers think that Amazon should pay more taxes. A figure that rises to 69% in the UK and 70% in the US.

64% prefer retailers with on and offline presence

41% of shoppers are still worried about COVID-19 when going in-store shopping. Shoppers are not seeing e-commerce as an either/or choice. While e-commerce is strong, 64% of shoppers say that they prefer to shop with brands and retailers that have both an on and offline presence.

As a result, 59% of them want to see brands and retailers communicate and engage with them across all channels. Two thirds (66%) want brands to be more digitally innovative. Moreover, 60% is more likely to buy from retailers that are more digital by offering check-out free shopping (Amazon Go), which is exciting to 62% of them.

Marketplaces offer the best delivery options

Delivery, too, is of mounting importance. 48% say that they want faster delivery. 30% of shoppers say that they expect delivery within 24 hours. Here again marketplaces are taking the stage, with 66% saying that marketplaces offer the best delivery speed and options.

Retailers are setting up their own marketplaces

The rise of the marketplace in consumer shopping habits is also leading to a rise in retailers looking at setting up their own marketplaces. This is in order to help them reach consumers, expand their offering and exploit new markets.

Marketplace retailers outperformed peers and competitors in 2020, growing 81% year-over-year. More than doubling the rate of overall e-commerce growth of 40%. This is an impressive result even during a period of massive digital acceleration.

Furthermore, marketplaces led to a 34% increase in site traffic for retailers. Beyond the black-and-white sales numbers associated with the introduction of third-party products, e-commerce marketplaces deliver a halo effect to retailers in the form of increased traffic and customer satisfaction.

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