Digital marketplaces continue to gain significant momentum in Australia, with close to nine in 10 (88%) shoppers buying from a digital marketplace in the past year, and 92% of consumers planning to shop on marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Catch in the year ahead, according to the latest Pattern report.

“Digital marketplaces are on a continued growth path and are becoming increasingly accepted and adopted as a shopping channel of choice by Australian consumers. However, with cost-of-living pressures and an uncertain economic outlook, our report highlights how consumer behaviour is set to again evolve in the year ahead,” Pattern Australia general manager, Merline McGregor said.

Pattern research shows that almost three-quarters (73%) of consumers are set to spend more or the same online overall in 2023, and for the leading global digital marketplace Amazon specifically, 84% of consumers expected to spend more or the same on this platform in 2023. 

“Given the rapid increases in the cost-of-living and interest rate pressures facing consumers in Australia, it could be expected that a majority of shoppers would be looking to reduce their ecommerce spend in the year ahead. However, our research found a large portion of consumers said they had no plans to change their shopping habits in 2023,” McGregor commented.

Not only are digital marketplaces attracting higher volumes of shoppers, but the demographic mix and way that shoppers use these channels is also evolving. High income earners are most likely to shop on Amazon today (36% vs 21% average), while eBay attracts larger volumes of male shoppers – with 69% of men purchasing from eBay versus 55% of females.

Pattern’s research asked shoppers what they were likely to buy in 2023 and through which marketplace they were likely to make a purchase. These results indicated thatAmazon’s key shopper categories include books and eBooks and home and kitchen products; eBayscored highest in electronics and computer equipment, followed by home and kitchen; Catch saw an equal share in clothing, shoes and accessories, toys, kids and baby products and home and kitchen; while Kogan consumers look for electronics and home and kitchen products.

Marketplaces are increasingly becoming a product discovery hub for many online shoppers. Outside of Google (57% of shoppers), the next most popular channel to research products online is via digital marketplaces, where 23% of shoppers use platforms like eBay and Amazon to search for their goods.

Of those shoppers using Amazon, 62% indicated that they discovered a new brand on the platform. Interestingly, 42% of consumers who discovered a new brand or product on Amazon also went on to visit the retailer’s D2C website.