How Amazon, Temu and Shein are disrupting Australian retail today

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Marketplace shopping has become mainstream in Australia, with 93 percent of consumers using platforms like Amazon, Catch and Temu to search, discover and purchase new products last year. The findings were revealed as part of Pattern’s sixth annual ‘Marketplace Consumer Trends Report – 2024,’ which studies Australian shoppers’ changing e-commerce habits and the latest marketplace trends. 

Amazon grows, the Australian marketplace sector evolves 

Marketplaces present major opportunities for local brands today, with Pattern research highlighting that 94 per cent of Australians plan to buy from a marketplace over the coming year. 

Amazon has grown to become the dominant marketplace in Australia and now outperforms all other marketplaces on average monthly site visits. This includes overtaking the historic local marketplace leader, Ebay by a significant 48 per cent over the last three months of 2023, to achieve an average of 75.2 million monthly site visits. Amazon is also on track to achieve the highest growth rate of any marketplace this year, with 63 percent of Australians planning on buying from the site (6 percent annual growth), compared to a projected 8 percent decrease in people planning to buy from Ebay. Notably, 80 percent of shoppers who were in the $200,000 income bracket bought on Amazon, reflecting its strong reach among higher-income consumers.

The strength of Amazon’s marketplace business growth in Australia can, in part, be attributed to the fact that shoppers stay with Amazon even when the products they want are not available. When faced with out-of-stock scenarios on Amazon, shoppers are now marginally less likely to search for the product on another shopping platform. Consumers are also 19 percent more likely to buy a similar product on Amazon from a brand they are not familiar with, demonstrating the increased trust that shoppers have of products listed on Amazon and their willingness to try new goods on the platform. 

Understanding the success of Shein and Temu

Importantly for clothing and apparel brands looking to access new customers, new marketplace platforms Temu and Shein have rapidly disrupted the sector and gained significant market share, with 25 percent of shoppers buying from Temu and 21 percent from Shein in the past year.

Temu has rapidly grown to become the eighth-largest online retail brand in Australia (in terms of audience size), registering more than 9.2 million users by June last year. Pattern research shows that Temu is favoured among younger shoppers with 32 percent of those in the 18-24 year bracket purchasing from the platform. Shein is also a marketplace powerhouse with an estimated 88.8 million active shoppers globally. It’s a hit with females – who comprise 80 percent of shoppers – and 18–24-year-olds (47 per cent of this age group have bought from Shein versus 21 percent overall). 

The evolution of product discovery

Understanding and acting on new consumer trends around product discoverability is a key focus for brands looking to introduce themselves to new customers. Local brands must be aware that while Google is still the market leader in search, its product research supremacy is slipping, with a year-on-year decrease in the percentage of people using it to search for products. Shoppers are instead also going directly to retailers for inspiration (up by 6 percent), along with marketplaces, such as Amazon, which has grown by 59 percent in popularity as a product research channel. Notably, 39 percent of consumers who discover a new product on Amazon also often visit the brand’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) website for further information about the brand.

The change in product research methods and growth in marketplace popularity can be attributed to the fact marketplaces now have an abundant volume of goods for consumers to search. These platforms build confidence with shoppers to research and purchase new products through enhanced transparency and credibility. This is achieved by marketplaces providing real-world product reviews and informative answers to product page questions.

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 Pattern online or email: