PEAK 2021 UK shoppers start earliest, go online more and embrace marketplaces as ecommerce grows

UK consumers are earliest to start their Christmas shopping, will buy more online than any other country and are doing more of it on marketplaces.

So finds the latest holiday shopping study from marketplace SaaS platform provider Mirakl, which finds that, globally, consumers are increasingly using marketplaces as they embrace online shopping, with as many as 94% saying they will maintain or increase their use of the platforms this peak season.

According to the study, during the first UK pandemic holiday shopping season in 2020, the average use of online shopping increased by 41.4%, from 41% in 2019 to 58% a year later. Even with high streets reopening across the country 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, which has grown as shoppers 81% of UK shoppers are more open to purchasing a gift through an online marketplace, compared to their counterparts in France (74%), Germany (78%), and the US (79%). UK shoppers are also utilising marketplace offerings for an array of reasons including lower prices (55%), faster delivery (47%), and better selection (47%).

The survey also uncovers how the always-on nature of ecommerce, coupled with concerns over supply chain issues and potential product shortages, caused major changes to consumer behaviour heading into the 2021 holiday shopping season.

Almost two thirds of UK consumers (64%) plan to go online shopping for holiday gifts before Black Friday, with 40% of respondents beginning 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.

The study also finds that nearly two thirds (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.

Some 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.

However, 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.

“As a result of supply chain disruptions and unpredictable product availability, global consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever before and using online shopping to avoid disappointment,” comments Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO of Mirakl. “The data from our Holiday Shopping Snapshot offers proof that many of the temporary behavioral 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, with marketplaces seeing the greatest gains among frequent shoppers.”

So finds the latest holiday shopping study from marketplace SaaS platform provider Mirakl, which finds that, globally, consumers are increasingly using marketplaces as they embrace online shopping, with as many as 94% saying they will maintain or increase their use of the platforms this peak season.

According to the study, during the first UK pandemic holiday shopping season in 2020, the average use of online shopping increased by 41.4%, from 41% in 2019 to 58% a year later. Even with high streets reopening across the country 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, which has grown as shoppers 81% of UK shoppers are more open to purchasing a gift through an online marketplace, compared to their counterparts in France (74%), Germany (78%), and the US (79%). UK shoppers are also utilising marketplace offerings for an array of reasons including lower prices (55%), faster delivery (47%), and better selection (47%).

The survey also uncovers how the always-on nature of ecommerce, coupled with concerns over supply chain issues and potential product shortages, caused major changes to consumer behaviour heading into the 2021 holiday shopping season.

Almost two thirds of UK consumers (64%) plan to go online shopping for holiday gifts before Black Friday, with 40% of respondents beginning 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.

The study also finds that nearly two thirds (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.

Some 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.

However, 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.

“As a result of supply chain disruptions and unpredictable product availability, global consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever before and using online shopping to avoid disappointment,” comments Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO of Mirakl. “The data from our Holiday Shopping Snapshot offers proof that many of the temporary behavioral 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, with marketplaces seeing the greatest gains among frequent shoppers.”