Despite surging in popularity, Australian consumers hold negative views on the quality of the products sold on emerging marketplaces Temu and Shein, according to a new study by Pattern.

The study uncovered Australian consumers’ perceptions of the seven largest marketplace platforms: Amazon, eBay, Catch, Kogan, Temu, MyDeal, and Shein.

Temu was ranked as the lowest marketplace in perceived product quality at only 7%, followed by Shein, with just 8% of shoppers expressing trust in its product quality. This contrasts with majority of shoppers saying that they trusted the quality of the products sold on Amazon.

“Temu and Shein have burst onto the Australian ecommerce landscape, attracting large numbers of younger shoppers. However, these platforms still have to play a lot of catch-up to win over Australian consumers, who didn’t rate them highly for product quality, returns, and convenience,” Pattern Australia general manager, Merline McGregor said.

“With a transparent product rating and review system built into its platform that educates and builds shopper trust, Amazon has become the most trusted marketplace in Australia in relation to the quality of products it sells. This is an area where Amazon leads the sector at 58%, with eBay trailing at 39%, followed by Catch (25%), Kogan (19%) and MyDeal (11%).”

As cost-of-living pressures rise, Australian consumers are increasingly turning to marketplaces to research, compare, and purchase. A large majority of Australians shopped on a marketplace in 2023, with a staggering 94% planning to buy from platforms like Amazon, Catch, and eBay over the coming year.

“With strained household budgets, marketplaces are attracting an increasing number of shoppers with their easy-to-use price comparison functionalities and sales events. With its globally recognised Prime Day event gaining popularity in Australia, Amazon has become the leading marketplace for value-for-money purchases, attracting 48% shoppers, followed by eBay at 41% and Catch at 27%,” McGregor added.

Not only are marketplaces attracting higher volumes of shoppers, but they are more likely to secure high income shoppers in 2024. Today, over 80% of $200,000 earning households shop on Amazon. Even newer marketplaces like Shein attract high income consumers, with 34% of those in the $160,000 to $199,000 household income bracket buying from the platform in the past 12 months. 

Amazon outperforms all other marketplaces in relation to ease-of-use shopping, with 56% of consumers highlighting it was the most convenient platform to buy from, compared with eBay (46%) and Catch (23%). This can be attributed to Amazon’s Prime membership benefits, where shoppers get free, fast shipping and the platform’s advanced search and recommendation algorithms that personalise the shopping experience.

Given the sophisticated supply chain infrastructure it has established in Australia, 49% of shoppers also said Amazon has the most reliable returns process – significantly more compared to any other single marketplace. Just over 60% of Australian shoppers believe Amazon has the widest product range.