New research by Stripe reveals that digital marketplaces and platforms are growing at an average rate of 300% year-on-year and transforming the way Brits buy and sell things today.
Internet shopping continues to be a national pastime, but Brits are flocking to marketplaces rather than to retailers directly: around 7 in 10 Brits (68%) used an ecommerce marketplace like Amazon or ASOS in the past year. One in five (20%) of Brits have used a food delivery marketplace like Deliveroo in the past year; this is twice as high as in the US where only 1 in 10 people have used this kind of platform.
Platforms connecting entrepreneurs with investors are also growing in popularity more so in the UK than in Europe. 10% of Brits have used a crowdfunding platform in the past year whereas this figure is 2% in both France and Germany.
A quarter of Brits have used a hotel or hospitality marketplaces like Booking.com or Airbnb in the past year. This is just below the EU average (30%) but way behind Singapore where nearly half (46%) of people have used such platforms.
Mobile for taxis and takeaways, desktop for shopping and holidays
For those who use marketplaces, they tend to use their mobile phones for ridesharing (67%), food delivery (60%) and restaurant reservations (48%). On the other hand, they use laptops for ecommerce (58%), hotel/hospitality (49%) and crowdfunding (31%).
Apple Pay gaining in popularity as Brits grow impatient with long checkout flows
Over a quarter (27%) of Brits prefer Apple Pay as their checkout option when making a transaction on a marketplaces. This is way ahead of the rate of Apple Pay adoption in the US where only 14% of people surveyed nominated Apple Pay as their preferred method of payment.
Frictionless mobile experiences are a key ingredient for success in marketplace business models: nearly half (47%) of Brits said they would abandon a website if it takes too long to enter their payment information at checkout.
Plus ça change – most Americans want to tip on marketplaces, Europeans not so much
Tipping culture in the US remains much stronger than in Europe. 53% of Americans think it’s important to be able to tip a seller on a marketplace, whereas only 36% of Brits and 34% of French think it’s important.
Beneficial to economy and consumer choice
The study shows that marketplaces are not just transforming how consumers buy online, but also driving positive change in the overall economy. Around three quarters (77%) of Brits say online marketplaces like Amazon, Booking.com and Seedrs help them find products, services, investments and offers they wouldn’t have found otherwise. An equally high proportion (73%) of Brits say they believe marketplaces are beneficial to the economy. Out of those who say they’re good for the economy, 64% say they give consumers more options, 50% say they help smaller businesses reach more customers and 48% say they increase competition between businesses.
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