Majority of UK markeplace shoppers are female but men spend more

New study shows

Marketplace shoppers regularly browse online sites, making an average of two purchases each month, according to a study commissioned by Royal Mail. Amazon and eBay are leading the market with 80 per cent of marketplace shoppers buying monthly from Amazon, including 17 per cent doing so weekly. 76 per cent of marketplace shoppers purchase from eBay every month and 16 per cent do so on a weekly basis,

The majority of marketplace shoppers are female but male shoppers spend, on average, a third (31 per cent) more than females per month (£67 vs £51). The study, part of Royal Mail’s annual Delivery Matters report, asked 1,000 UK online marketplace shoppers about their marketplace shopping habits. This is the first time Royal Mail has dedicated a report to marketplace shoppers. It found that clothes (32 per cent) are the most commonly purchased item from online marketplaces, closely followed by books (31 per cent).

Consumers are choosing to buy on marketplaces due to low prices and deals (76 per cent) and the range of products available (70 per cent). They pick marketplaces over online retailers because they can find better deals (60 per cent), purchase items they can’t find elsewhere (51 per cent) and there’s more variety of the item they’re looking for (38 per cent).

Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “The rise of online marketplaces is impacting the way consumers shop online and how retailers sell to their customers. Shoppers increasingly expect the same experience when purchasing on a marketplace to when buying goods from an online retailer. Businesses that are selling via marketplaces need to ensure they are offering the best customer service possible, with a positive delivery and returns experience at the centre of this.”

The study revealed that it’s important for online marketplace sellers to provide a simple delivery and returns experience. Delivery options are key when shoppers choose between marketplace sellers and 75 per cent of shoppers expect delivery times to be the same when ordering from an online marketplace as when they order from an online retailer.

Fulfilment of delivery options is a driving force behind the choice of seller. It is important that online marketplace sellers use delivery options strategically to be a point of differentiation from competitors.

When it comes to returns, 59 per cent of those surveyed said the returns experience would impact the rating they would give to a seller and 62 per cent would be unlikely to shop with a seller again after a difficult returns experience. 78 per cent expect the returns process with an online marketplace seller to be similar or easier than with online retailers.

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