Online marketplaces clean up in lockdown

Online marketplaces are set to be the big winners of the second UK-wide lockdown, according to research.

With non-essential bricks and mortar closed, e-commerce platform ChannelAdvisor and research firm Dynata surveyed 1,022 UK online shoppers.

Over half (52 per cent) said they would begin their online shopping journey on online marketplaces, and 30 per cent said they would begin browsing on Google.

But only 19 per cent expected to begin their shopping journey with a brand or retailer’s website.

The research also found that 45 per cent of online shoppers were spending more time on Amazon since the Coronavirus crisis began in March, with 33 per cent saying they were spending more time on other marketplaces too.

When asked where they had discovered products purchased online, 58 per cent of respondents said they had found them while browsing marketplaces, 22 per cent said they had discovered products via adverts on Google search, 17 per cent named ads via TV or streaming platforms, and 18 per cent said they had seen ads on social media channels.

That last figure is far higher among 18-25 year-olds, with 32 per cent of this demographic saying they had discovered online purchases via social media adverts.

On researching products, 85 per cent said they had done it on Amazon since March 2020, while 76 per cent researched purchases on Google. In addition, 31 per cent did it on Facebook, while 25 per cent used Instagram.

Factors influencing consumer purchases are also changing. When asked what influenced their buying decisions, 44 per cent of customers said reviews - a rise from 28 per cent when ChannelAdvisor asked more than 1,000 consumers the same question in May 2020.

In addition, 78 per cent said price played a role, which is an increase from the 70 per cent in May. Delivery speed also remains a major factor with over two-in-five (43 per cent) mentioning it, but that was the same figure in May.

Vladi Shlesman, EMEA managing director for ChannelAdvisor, said: “Brands face a nationwide lockdown which is shaping up to be quite unlike the first, combining the frenzy of Black Friday with the fact that a vast number of consumers have become online shopping veterans.

“These shoppers know what they want to buy, they’ve become experienced in where to look for it and the digital landscape will likely be ultra-competitive, so retailers must act now to ensure their digital shop fronts are up to scratch.”

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