Online Marketplace and eCommerce Trends and Statistics

Jul 21, 2020, by Claire Gibbons, TrueCommerce - Category: Retail Technology

Regardless of where you are on your omni-channel journey, it is important to keep up to date on eCommerce trends and statistics to ensure you are maximising your sales opportunities. Our Gold Partner TrueCommerce has collated some of the key eCommerce and online marketplace statistics from the last 12 months that are worth considering.

TrueCommerce Webinar MarketplacesThe popularity of online shopping shows no signs of slowing

Whilst online shopping is far from new and in fact dates back to the early 90’s, albeit with a very different experience to the one we know today, its popularity has grown hugely in the last decade and has gained traction in more industries due to considerable developments in security and user experience. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, the number of people in the UK shopping online in the last 12 months was 82% in 2019, up from 53% in 2008. With online sales equating to 19.6% of overall shopping in the UK in February 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics, eCommerce is now understandably a key part of many companies’ sales strategies.

Whilst at one time, the majority of company’s online sales would have come from their own eCommerce site, additional channels are now available, such as social platforms and online marketplaces which offer access to a large, established loyal audience.

The ‘Amazon effect’ and the meteoric rise of online marketplaces

Sales on marketplaces accounted for a huge 58% of global web sales in 2019, according to Digital Commerce 360’s analysis.

With gross merchandise sales on the top 100 marketplaces growing by 22% between 2018 and 2019 and a total of $2.03 trillion being spent globally, online marketplaces continue to take the world of eCommerce by storm. These statistics are even more incredible when you take into account the fact that 54 of the 100 top marketplaces were created since 2011. The UK has a similar picture with 40% of eCommerce traffic in the UK going to online marketplaces.

So why the sudden rise of online marketplaces?

Quite simply online marketplaces provide consumers with a trusted, one stop shop. They can quickly and easily compare products and prices from a wide range of retailers and suppliers.

A fascinating statistic from a study conducted by Channel Advisor, demonstrates just how popular online marketplaces are – 96% of 26-35 year olds surveyed said they shop on Amazon, showing just how embedded marketplaces are in today’s consumer behaviour. What’s clear by these statistics are that brands and retailers that have not invested in their own online store and are not selling on online marketplaces are missing out on a huge opportunity to increase their sales and this became even more apparent when we were hit by COVID-19.

What impact has COVID-19 had on online sales?

Whilst the eCommerce and online marketplace statistics we have discussed so far have focused on life before COVID-19, what is clear is that the global pandemic has led to a further acceleration of the growth in online shopping and the popularity of online marketplaces, due to the lockdown restrictions. In fact, online stores ensured the survival of many retail outlets who were forced to shut their doors.

The Recent Irish report, Tipping Point notes that 72% of Irish consumers have either spent more online during the COVID-19 crisis or the same amount as before. 

Despite many Irish SMEs not investing in their online services since the Covid-19 crisis began, Irish consumers are spending more online with Irish SMEs that have pivoted to help save their businesses during the lockdown. E-commerce is worth a great deal to the Irish economy. The Central Bank estimates that Irish consumers and businesses spent €16 billion online in 2019. Historically international retailers have dominated Irish e-commerce, however, 53% of consumers’ online spend during COVID-19 has been with Irish SMEs. 

According to the UK Office for National Statistics, online sales equated to 33.4% of overall shopping in the UK in June 2020, compared to the 19.6% in February (as quoted above), which is an incredible increase in only 4 months. It is therefore no surprise that 30% of retail businesses with an online service, who continued trading during the COVID-19 pandemic, reported an increase in online sales. Those companies that were not set up for online trading sadly found themselves very exposed.

What does the ‘new normal’ have in store for eCommerce and online marketplaces?

So what does the future hold for eCommerce and online marketplaces as we come out of lockdown? Well, what is particularly interesting is that people’s shopping habits look to have been changed forever by COVID-19. According to a report by Alvarez & Marsal and Retail Economics, 17.2 million British consumers plan to make permanent changes to the way they shop, as perceived risks of contracting COVID-19 at physical stores redirects spending into online channels. What is clear is that the rise of eCommerce and online marketplaces shows no sign of slowing and companies need to ensure they are set up to meet the new needs of their customers.

If you would like to find out more about how TrueCommerce are helping their clients to increase sales through online marketplaces please visit their website or alternatively feel free to contact them directly.


This article first appeared on the TrueCommerce UK website 21 July 2020

Tags: marketplace, amazon, ecommerce, statistics,

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