Molzi's 2020 Marketplace Report

Executive summary

There’s no denying the impact and influence digital technologies have had on brands and retailers, particularly among younger generations. Looking beyond the dramatic headlines of a failing high-street, it’s clear to see a transforming industry with new marketplaces and retail channels opening up and shaping the future. Understanding UK consumer shopping behaviour will help brands and retailers establish appropriate sales and marketing strategies, correctly allocating resources to engage the UK consumer where they shop.

Our research has found Amazon is the go-to retailer for UK consumers in both research and purchasing with 59% of consumers heading to Amazon to research products and 84% purchasing on Amazon when compared to the Google Shopping platform. These findings show that Amazon’s main propositions – product range, convenience and value – clearly satisfy the UK consumer.

There are still many consumers who prefer known brand and retail websites, as well as offline shopping. While there is digital confidence among Millennials with just under two-thirds (57%) making their purchases on online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, we see fewer Gen Xers (46%) and Baby Boomers (31%) choosing online marketplaces to shop. Instead, these consumers prefer buying from brand and retail websites (26% and 23% respectively), as well as shopping offline (25% and 46% respectively). Highlighting the need for a strong brand presence both on and offline.

Millennials are the biggest group of marketplace shoppers in the UK, using online marketplaces to both research and purchase. Millennials choose Amazon as the number-one destination for purchasing in 7 out of 11 product categories including; everyday household items (57%), health & beauty products (31%), home & DIY (32%), gifts (45%), books, games & films (44%), electronics & computers (31%), and babies, children & toys (33%). The lowest ranking categories in which Millennials are shopping on marketplaces are clothing (13%), furniture (19%), food & groceries (12%) and sports & outdoors (24%).

This whitepaper aims to help brands understand the extent in which Amazon has immersed itself within UK shopping habits. As well as analysing UK consumer behaviours, this whitepaper will provide insights and predictions to allow brands and retailers to adapt to meet the needs of the changing UK shopper allowing them to survive and thrive in the Amazon era. 

Research sample

This report analyses the shopping preferences and behaviours of 508 UK consumers in three age groups; Millennials (defined as UK residents aged between 18-34), Generation X (UK residents between 35-54) and Baby Boomers (UK residents aged 55+). The multiple-choice survey was conducted using an online questionnaire produced by consumer research company Toluna, and the survey was conducted in November 2019.

 The qualified sample was evenly split by gender with 46% identifying as female and 54% identifying as male. Geographic location was split between the South of England (46%), Midland and Wales (24%), North of England and Scotland (27%) and Northern Ireland (3%).

UK Consumer Shopping Study

Headline findings

UK Consumer Shopping Study

Amazon is the number-one destination for research and purchasing. 59% of people start their research on Amazon compared to 41% of consumers which start their research on Google shopping. 84% of people head to Amazon to purchase products compared to 16% of people who use Google shopping.

UK Consumer Shopping Study

Product range and convenience are the main drivers in Amazon purchasing consideration. 36% of consumers indicated that choice in and product range was the most important purchasing factor; and 23% of consumers choose convenience as their reason for shopping on Amazon.

UK Consumer Shopping Study

Brand loyalty is high in consumer shopping behaviour. 52% of Gen Xers and 68% of Baby Boomers don’t shop on online marketplaces, preferring brand & retail websites and in store shopping.

UK Consumer Shopping Study

Millennials favour purchasing on Amazon in 7 out of 11 product categories. 57% of Millennials favour Amazon for Everyday household items, 33% for babies, children & toy products, 31% for electronics & computers, 44% for books, games & films, 45% for gifts, 31% of health & beauty products & 32% for home & DIY products. 

The remainder of our report explores the findings of our UK consumer study in full, offering insights, predictions and commentary from Molzi’s Amazon experts on how retailers and brands can engage consumers.