What consumers will buy on marketplaces this year

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Australian consumers are increasingly turning to marketplaces to search, discover and purchase new products, offering major opportunities for local brands. 

New research from Pattern’s Marketplace Consumer Trends Report – 2023 highlights that 92 per cent of consumers plan to shop on a marketplace this year. Of the two local dominant marketplace players, 65 per cent of consumers are expecting to buy from Ebay and 59 per cent will make a purchase from Amazon – with 84 per cent of those shoppers expecting to spend more or the same on Amazon this year compared with last.

Additionally, according to organic search traffic data from Semrush, in 2022 Amazon overtook Ebay in monthly web visits, with Amazon sitting at 12.1 million visitors last month, ahead of Ebay’s 8.4 million. 

Local brands need to be active on marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay in the future, to ensure that their products are present where consumers are increasingly shopping. But what do Australian brands need to understand about marketplaces today to be successful? What platforms are people shopping on, what are they buying and where do the opportunities lie? 

Marketplace insights  

Marketplaces are increasingly becoming a product-discovery hub for Australian shoppers. Pattern’s research shows that outside of Google, the next most popular channel to research products online is via marketplaces, where nearly one-quarter of shoppers use platforms like Ebay and Amazon to search for their goods.

Not only are marketplaces attracting higher volumes of shoppers, but new shopper habits are also emerging. For instance, high-income earners are now most likely to shop on Amazon, while Ebay attracts larger volumes of male shoppers compared with females. Men appear to value better prices and better packaging compared with women. Females were also more likely to shop directly from a retailer’s website and to Google products before making a purchase. 

What did people buy last year?

Electronics & computer equipment was the most popular category overall for Australian consumers across all marketplaces over the last year, with 64 per cent of people purchasing in this category. Research showed that for electronics & computer equipment, 24 per cent of people purchased from Amazon, 12 per cent from Ebay, 9 per cent from Kogan, 6 per cent from Catch and 10 per cent from other online marketplaces. 

Home & kitchen products was the second highest category shoppers bought from on marketplaces overall, followed by books & ebooks, toys, kids & baby products, DIY/home improvement and sports, fitness & outdoor products.

Marketplace product growth categories

As consumer confidence increases on marketplaces, so does their desire to cross-shop and discover new categories. The Pattern research asked shoppers what they are likely to buy this year and on which marketplace they were likely to make a purchase, with the results indicating: 

  • Amazon’s key shopper categories include books & ebooks and home & kitchen products.
  • Ebay scored highest in electronics & computer equipment, followed by home & kitchen.
  • Catch saw an equal share in clothing, shoes & accessories, toys, kids & baby products and home & kitchen.
  • Kogan consumers are interested in electronics and home & kitchen products on the platform. 

Looking ahead to the remainder of this year, shoppers are expected to spend most across marketplaces on clothing, shoes & accessories (75 per cent), closely followed by home & kitchen (74 per cent) and electronics & computer equipment (72 per cent).  

The popularity of these product categories across marketplaces can (in part) be linked to the fact that there are a large and growing number of sellers within these categories, which leads to wider ranges of products for consumers to choose from and competitive pricing. In such an environment, it is critical that brands have an effective marketplace strategy in place to attract consumers, as well as the right partner to support e-commerce growth. 

As the world’s top e-commerce accelerator, Pattern knows the key drivers for boosting listings, conversions, and profitability for brands across marketplaces. For more information on how your brand can accelerate its growth, please visit: https://au.pattern.com/ or email: au@pattern.com