2018 was a huge year for marketplaces! eBay, Catch and Amazon all launched new products and services. It became easier than ever before to reach new customers, launch on multiple marketplaces and even go global. So what can we learn from 2018 and what are the trends to watch moving into 2019 and beyond.
It’s no secret that delivery is one of the biggest competitive advantages when it comes to e-commerce. This is not a new trend. Consumers have been exponentially increasing their expectations when it comes to delivery. But 2018 saw the introduction of Amazon Prime, Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), eBay Guaranteed Delivery and eBay Plus. eBay Guaranteed Delivery lets its 168 million active shoppers filter out search results to show only items that are guaranteed to arrive in three days or less and eBay Plus allows members to receive free delivery and free returns on Plus items. Prime is Amazon’s customer paid membership program offering members free two-day shipping on eligible items as well as other perks. The FBA program means that Amazon picks, packs, ships and provides customer service (including returns) for FBA approved products. For products to become Prime eligible, they also need to be fulfilled by Amazon. What this means is that marketplaces understand the power of fast fulfilment. It impacts conversions. It changes how people search. Your consumer isn’t just looking for your product, they’re filtering results by delivery time. It may not be a new trend but it’s definitely a trend that’s evolved in the last year and is set to become even more important moving forward.
Marketplaces have been shaking up the search landscape overseas for some time. From 2015 to 2018, Amazon surpassed Google for product searches with Amazon growing from 46 percent to 54 percent and Google has declining from 54 percent to 46 percent. This year we saw similar impact in Australia. Recent research reveals that 48 percent of Aussie shoppers say online marketplaces are their number one destination for browsing with the intent to purchase. This number is now higher than both search engines (43 percent) and e-commerce stores (29 percent). Retailers have been conditioned to optimise for Google search, but more important now than ever before is to ensure that you’re optimised for marketplaces. Consumers are continuing the trend to start their product searches on marketplaces. Think of marketplaces as a search tool in themselves and ensure that your strategy aligns with this.
- Mobile and Apps
We know that mobile usage has been on a steady growth rate. There is a strong link between mobile shoppers and marketplace usage, as 89 percent of smartphone users reportedly shop on marketplaces like eBay. In fact, 48 percent of these shoppers visit these sites on a weekly basis with the intention of making a purchase. When you’re thinking of m-commerce, ensure that marketplaces are part of your plan. App usage is at an all time high, but we also understand that developing a shopping app of your own could be cost-prohibitive. When you’re listed on marketplaces, you’re also visible on the marketplaces’ own shopping app. Understand what this new demographic of mobile shopper wants and how they behave. The consumer journey has been forever altered and marketplaces and smartphones have a huge role to play in this.
- Multi-marketplace approach
From a retailer perspective, we’re seeing multiple marketplace strategies being implemented more and more. That means listing on the many marketplaces in Australia such as The Iconic, eBay, Catch and Amazon, but also international marketplaces such as Walmart, Lazada, Wish, AliExpress and many more! While it was once an arduous task to list your products on one (let alone many) marketplaces, with ChannelAdvisor you can take advantage of our powerful transformation engine that will collect your product data once, and then harmonise it across all marketplaces, meeting the requirements for each one without having to create new content. The trend we saw in 2018 was that boundaries are disappearing. In 2019 we expect to see this even more and at an even greater scale.
For more about marketplace trends, the shift in consumer behaviour and where we’re headed, feel free to contact the ChannelAdvisor team or hear from Simon Clarkson in this webinar: Success on Marketplaces. We look forward to what 2019 has to offer for all our clients and retailers.