Mirakl has published the results of its 2021 Holiday Shopping Snapshot. It is a global survey of 9,000 respondents across nine countries, 1,000 of which were from the UK. The report found that UK shoppers will do more online holiday shopping than anyone else in Europe. They also begin their holiday shopping earlier than any other European country or the US.
“As a result of supply chain disruptions and unpredictable product availability, global consumers are starting holiday shopping earlier than before. Consumers are using online shopping to avoid disappointment,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO of Mirakl.
“The data from our Holiday Shopping Snapshot offers proof that many of the temporary behavioural changes, originally brought on by the global pandemic are becoming permanent. In particular, shoppers are increasing their use of online marketplaces to help reduce costs and ensure gifts arrive on time. Marketplaces are seeing the greatest gains among frequent shoppers.”
A shift toward marketplaces
During the first UK pandemic holiday shopping season in 2020, the average use of online shopping increased by 41.4%. This is from 41% in 2019 to 58% a year later.
With high streets reopening in 2021, this figure remained high at 53% for the 2021 UK holiday shopping season.
The increase in online shopping was also reflected in the use of online marketplaces. This has grown as 81% of UK shoppers are more open to purchasing a gift through an online marketplace. It is higher than their counterparts in France (74%), Germany (78%), and the US (79%). UK shoppers are also utilising marketplace offerings for an array of reasons. Among those are lower prices (55%), faster delivery (47%), and better selection (47%).
The report provides context on the growth of online marketplaces in the UK and across the world from consumer’s perspective. It also highlights the market opportunity for marketplace operators and businesses looking to sell through these platforms.
An early start for holiday shopping
The survey also uncovered the always-on nature of eCommerce. It, together with concerns over supply chain issues and potential product shortages, caused major changes to consumer behaviour for the 2021 holiday shopping season. Almost two-thirds of Brits (64%) plan to go online shopping for holiday gifts before Black Friday. 40% of respondents also plan to begin their online holiday shopping in October or earlier. Only 11% of UK shoppers plan to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to do their online holiday shopping.
Other key findings from the 2021 Holiday Shopping Snapshot include:
- Global consumers turn to marketplaces for better value: 60% of shoppers across the globe name better prices as a reason why they’re using online marketplaces this season. 94% of respondents say they plan to maintain (or even increase) their frequency of shopping on online marketplaces.
- Third-party sellers also benefit from the marketplace boom: Four-fifths of UK respondents said they definitely will or would consider purchasing holiday gifts from third-party sellers through an online marketplace. In fact, millennials and Gen Z are the most likely to buy from third-party sellers on online marketplaces.
- Supply chain disruptions are causing changes to customer behaviour: A third of UK respondents cited shipping delays as a key reason for starting their holiday shopping earlier this year. The same percentage also stated that they are concerned many products will not be in stock later in the year.
Mirakl surveyed 9,000 consumers in nine countries, including 1,000 in the UK, with the goal of understanding holiday shopping behaviours. The survey was conducted in October 2021 by Schlesinger Group, an independent research firm.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business.
It is not surprising that UK consumers are expected to do more online holiday shopping than anyone else in Europe. The country is relatively compact and the eCommerce infrastructure is developed.
The interesting component to the research is the shift towards marketplaces. Industry research suggests that consumers are increasingly looking to find their needs via a one-stop online shop. The adoption of marketplace platforms has been rapid over the last few years.
The particularly sharp growth of eCommerce during the Coronavirus pandemic has permanently changed the needs of enterprises. There are increased expectations from B2C and B2B customers. Mirakl’s Holiday Shopping Snapshot finds 94% of global respondents will maintain or increase their use of online marketplaces this season. Marketplace platforms will be the key winners in the shift towards enterprise marketplaces.