Online marketplaces gain popularity in UK

August 21, 2020 by
Sanne Leenders

New research from Adobe into the online shopping habits of United Kingdom consumers, between March and June, found that online marketplaces, such as Amazon, were four-times more popular than retailers' own websites. This is demonstrating the appeal of quick convenient, one-stop shopping experiences to customers online as well as offline.

Consumers are drawn to broad product ranges

Since March, 69% of UK consumers regularly shopped online. In addition, more than half (57%) of them made a purchase from an online marketplace, compared to 13% who bought directly from retailers' websites. Ultimately, this suggests that even with more time on their hands and restrictions to shopping in-store, consumers were drawn to the broad product ranges, robust delivery infrastructure and limited steps between logging-on and checking-out, which characterize marketplaces. Furthermore, between March and June, the average online shopper made eleven purchases from an online marketplace, and three from an online retailer.

Peter Bell, Marketing Director EMEA, at Adobe said the following: "The rapid increase in demand for online shopping in the first few weeks of the pandemic, together with the rapidly migrating business online and supply chain issues, made it an exceptionally challenging time for all retailers. Marketplaces were able to get ahead of other retailers and brands, thanks to their ability to scale quickly and establish a reputation for reliability that saw them become the first port-of-call for a wide range of goods."

"Many brands and retailers already deliver great digital experiences, but to break the dominance of the marketplaces and attract customers to their sites and apps, they need to capture their attention in ways that marketplaces cannot. That could be through hosting exclusive content, giving early access to sales or specific products, or even offering subscription or membership options that make the shopping experience even more convenient and seamless. Our data shows that consumers are sold on shopping online, so the onus is on retailers and brands to find new ways to stand out and deliver value.", Peter Bell continues.

Online sales surge but support for high-street remains

The growth in online shopping at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak shows little signs of reversal, even as physical stores start to re-open their doors for the public. More than half (54%) of consumers said that they would continue to shops online for the foreseeable future.

Even with this clear shift to online, the research from Adobe found that respondents were keen to support the high-street, with third calling for a Value Added Tax cut for high-street retailers and one-in-seven favoring a fixed fee for deliveries to level the playing field for independent retailers and promote more sustainable online shopping practices.

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