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The explosion of online marketplaces in Australia

The explosion of online marketplaces in Australia

Ryan Murtagh
Ryan Murtagh

The crazy Christmas shopping period is well underway and it’s shaping up to be a merry one for retailers. Australians are expected to spend more than $50 billion from 15 November to 24 December, with about 7 per cent of this spent online.

According to our recent State of Ecommerce Report, about a quarter (25.1%) of Australian shoppers purchase online at least once a week and this number—and the amount consumers spend— is only expected to grow. One reason for this is the increasing popularity of ecommerce marketplaces, which the survey found was the most popular channel to buy online (39%), followed by a company’s website (32%), social media (7%) and across all channels making up the rest (22%).

Neto Online Shopping Survey

25.1% of shoppers purchase online one or more times per week.

Online marketplaces are the modern answer to traditional bricks-and-mortar department stores, offering a wide range of products and categories all in the one place. With ease and convenience the main reason consumers give for shopping online, it makes sense that time-poor customers are gravitating to these one-stop-shops, particularly at peak shopping periods like Christmas.

Australians are already purchasing more gifts online, with the gifting category seeing 59% sales growth this year. Over one quarter (26%) of consumers said gifts are what they purchase most online and a massive 50% said they would switch to Amazon for their present purchasing.

| Download the full results: The State of Ecommerce Report 2017

Here are some of the other changes we’ve seen in the Australian marketplace sector during 2017.

Amazon arrives

Amazon launched its Australian offering on 5 December 2017 with a bang. It was the best debut in the company’s history, with first-day orders higher than for any other launch and tens of thousands of consumers visiting the site during its first 24 hours.

According to Neto research, a massive 95% of Australian online retailers plan to sell on Amazon Australia within the next 12 months and, within that cohort, 18% predict that more than 75% of their sales will come from Amazon and other marketplaces in 2018.

Neto Marketplaces Survey

Marketplaces merchants intend to sell on in 2018

Half of online retailers predict that between 5% to 25% of their total sales will come from Amazon and other marketplaces over next 12 months. One such retailer is Cosmetic Capital, which was trading on Amazon Australia from day one. Managing director Danny Marcuson said he hopes Amazon will represent 15% of orders processed in 2018.

“This comes from our experience with other marketplaces,” he said. “Anything more will be a great bonus.”

| Related Reading: How to sell on Amazon Australia and other Amazon FAQs

Retailers branch out

Along with listing on Amazon, Australian retailers are also recognising the advantages of selling across multiple marketplaces. In fact, 39% of retailers said they will sell in as many marketplaces as possible in 2018, with the most common reason for this being the reach and popularity of the platforms. 

If you have the right technology in place, there’s nothing to stop you from selling across your own online store and multiple marketplaces—exposure to new potential customers can only be a good thing.

| Related Reading: The future of retail in Australia.

Myer enters the market

Before it launched, Amazon was labelled a threat by analysts because of the impact it has had on the North American retail market, much of which has been felt by department stores Macy’s and Sears. In an apparent move to counteract this threat, local department store Myer launched its own third-party marketplace around the same time the online giant made its big entrance.

Although it is still in beta, the retailer has big plans for the Myer Market, with chief digital and data officer Mark Cripsey calling it a “new frontier” for the brand. With the ability to return many of the items purchased on Myer Market to physical Myer stores, the move deftly caters to today’s shoppers, who expect a seamless and multi-faceted experience from retailers.

Myer Online Marketplace

Myer's new online marketplace 'The Myer Market'.

 

Catching on

Another big development this year was the arrival of the Catch.com.au marketplace, which launched in June. It grew quickly and was generating 15% of Catch.com.au’s overall sales in just four months. The launch of the marketplace increased the number of products available on the Catch platform by 600%, taking it from 20,000 to 120,000.

With more and more Australian consumers jumping on the marketplace bandwagon, Australian retailers need to get on board or risk being left behind.

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