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Marketplaces provide “more options”, customers say

Research shows online marketplaces are experiencing some of the fastest growth rates in the e-commerce sector, but why are customers flocking to these businesses over standalone websites?

A global survey conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Stripe provides some insights.

The study asked more than 1,000 adults in the US, and more than 500 adults in Australia, as well as in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, and the UK about their use of ride-sharing platforms, food-delivery services, e-commerce, and other multi-sided marketplaces.

Of those surveyed in Australia, 71 per cent said they believe marketplaces give consumers more options and 58 per cent said they believe they increase competition between businesses.

Aussies also believe marketplaces benefit the economy, with 41 per cent of respondents saying they provide more flexibility to part-time workers, and 36 per cent saying they help create more jobs.

“These marketplaces aren’t just changing the way we travel, shop and commute, they are fundamentally changing the internet economy, creating new commercial experiences that cannot exist in the offline world and driving the next wave of growth online,” Mac Wang, Stripe’s head of growth in Australia and New Zealand, said.

According to the survey, marketplace adoption in Australia is at a tipping point.

Half of those surveyed said that they prefer using online marketplaces for transportation, hospitality, and food delivery/subscription, versus going direct to taxis, hotels or restaurants.

This compares to just 34 per cent and 39 per cent who said the same in the UK and US, respectively. Still, it’s much lower than Singapore, where 73 per cent prefer marketplaces.

In the past year, 64 per cent of Australian respondents reported using an e-commerce marketplace to buy or sell, 31 per cent reported using hotel or hospitality marketplaces, 24 per cent reported using food delivery and 23 per cent rideshare services.

This makes up a sizable portion of the 75 per cent of Australian respondents who reported making a purchase over the internet in the last month, according to the survey.

The research also found that online shoppers increasingly want frictionless payment experiences, with half of Australian respondents saying they will leave a website or app without purchasing if it takes too long to enter payment information, and 70 per cent saying they don’t want to have to enter their credit card details every time they make a purchase.

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