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95% of UK retailers now sell via online marketplaces: study

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Most UK retailers now sell via online marketplaces, while almost half use them to trade overseas, a new study suggests.

ChannelAdvisor’s Multichannel Ecommerce Study, carried out by Redshift Research, questioned 200 UK and US retailers with revenues averaging between £1.7m and £3m. It found that 95% of UK respondents reported selling on marketplaces. Some 86% sold on Amazon and 68% on eBay.

Asked what their main concerns were about selling in this way, 66% cited customer service, 51% said they found it challenging to maintain competitive pricing and 49% said product sourcing.

Some 43% of UK retailers also said that between 21% and 30% of their online sales came from international marketplaces, which were the leading point of sale for international transactions. Asked where the best opportunities were for overseas sales, 54% of UK traders opted for Amazon, as did 69% of US traders.

Meanwhile, 73% of UK retailers said they used digital marketing, and in particular product listing ads. Asked about the factors preventing them from upping their spend, 68% pointed to budgets, 38% to infrastructure and website limitations and 35% said there was confusion about the options and the digital marketing landscape.

In other highlights, 73% of UK retailers said they would increase their mobile advertising budget in the next two years, with 43% stating that 21 to 30% of their current web traffic came from mobile devices, and 87% expecting that proportion to rise in the next two years.

Finally, 70% said they wanted to use social media to increase brand awareness, while 46% wanted to use it to reach a new generation of customers and the same proportion wanted to drive conversion. Asked which platform gave them most conversions, retailers named Facebook.

“In such a competitive landscape it’s imperative that retailers are constantly evaluating ecommerce trends and staying abreast of what the rest of the industry is doing,” said Jordan Weinstein, managing director, ChannelAdvisor EMEA. He said retailers were using multichannel to increase their exposure in “every stage of the consumer’s path to purchase.” He added: “Retailers in the UK understand that to find success in a very crowded ecommerce landscape they need to be visible and reach their customers via a number of different channels.”

Image: © illustrez-vous –

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