CommBank Retail Insights.
Edition 8
CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                               Edition 8


Key insights                                                        3
   Foreword                                                        4
   The retail landscape                                             5
   Online marketplaces                                             6
State by state view                                                 7
The rise of online marketplaces                                    8
   Adapting to consumer-led change                                  9
   Which marketplaces are the most popular?                        10
   Online marketplaces are changing shoppers’ behaviour            11
   Consumers shop marketplaces differently                         12
   The products and attributes that appeal to shoppers             13
Online marketplaces – the retailer perspective                     14
   Why half of Australian retailers use marketplaces               15
   Online marketplaces – opportunity or threat?                    16
   Aligning with consumers                                         17
   The effectiveness of online marketplaces – in retailers’ eyes   18
Expert view: Standing out from the crowd on online marketplaces    19
Western versus Asian marketplaces                                  21
   Consumers’ use of Asian online marketplaces                     22
   Retailers’ use of Asian online marketplaces                     23
Sector view: Outlook and marketplace usage                         24
   Food & Liquor                                                   25
   Take-away Food services                                         26
   Clothing & Footwear                                             27
   Homewares & Hardware                                            28
   Other Retail                                                    29
Talk to us                                                         30

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                             Edition 8

Key insights
Online marketplaces – a tectonic shift
In this edition of Retail Insights, we explore consumers’ increasing use of online marketplaces
and the opportunities for retailers to realign their strategies to connect with the right shoppers.

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                                              Edition 8

Key insights
There has been a fundamental shift in the behaviour of Australian                  A quarter of Australian online shoppers use both Asian and Western-
consumers. Today, shoppers indicate that almost a third of all purchases           style online marketplaces. These consumers stand out for purchasing
are made online, and the overwhelming majority (97%) of digital                    across more categories. They are buying double the number of products
shoppers are now using online marketplaces. More than two of every                 and spend almost twice as much online each month as consumers
five purchases they make online go through an online marketplace, and              who only use Western-style online marketplaces. Do they represent the
they use an average of six marketplaces. While eBay’s launch in 1999               future shopper? While this remains to be seen, the research shows that
marked the advent of online marketplaces in Australia, usage among                 retailers using Asian online marketplaces are far more confident in their
both consumers and retailers has notably accelerated in recent years.              growth prospects.
And with the range of marketplaces steadily growing, the choices for
consumers, and channels for retailers, continue to evolve.                         This report identifies four consumer segments each engaging
                                                                                   differently with online marketplaces. It explores why shoppers are                    Definition of online
The use of online marketplaces is changing shopper behaviour. Twenty-              drawn to online marketplaces and the reasons they prefer some over                    marketplaces
nine percent of consumers say they have purchased less in retailers’               others. As a result, the findings compel retailers to deeply consider
stores over the past year as a result of using online marketplaces. So far,        their customers and the best way of reaching them through online                      Websites that bring
there hasn’t been any net impact on purchases from retailers’ websites.            marketplaces.                                                                         together multiple buyers
However, given prolific usage, this is likely to change.                                                                                                                 and sellers, facilitating the
                                                                                   As always, we’d love to hear from you about your own retail experiences.              sale of goods or services,
A growing number of retailers are following the lead of their                      If you’d like to learn more about how you can put our insights into                   and generally taking a fee
customers. Half of Australia’s retailers now sell products through online          practice within your own business, please get in touch with our team of               for doing so.
marketplaces from which they generate 38% of overall sales. However,               retail specialists.
there is plenty of evidence to suggest that these retailers, 50% of whom
have introduced marketplaces as a channel in only the past two years,
are still grappling to fully understand the new channel.
While 68% of retailers believe that sales through online marketplaces              Jerry Macey
will continue to rise significantly in the next two to three years and 62%         National Manager, Retail Industry
of those currently selling intend selling more products through this               Business and Private Banking
channel in the coming year, only 9% see online marketplaces as their               Commonwealth Bank of Australia
greatest growth opportunity.

About CommBank Retail Insights
CommBank Retail Insights is an exclusive, wide-ranging analysis of the Australian retail sector. This edition is based on two surveys conducted by ACA Research on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank.
•    An online quantitative survey of Australian retailers in January 2019, involving       •   An online quantitative survey of 1,508 online         •    Gen X, aged 37-52 years (23%)
     592 decision-makers from small, medium and large retailers across Australia,               shoppers across Australia in January 2019,            •    Baby Boomers, aged 53-71 years (22%)
     Results have been categorised into five key retail sectors: Food & Liquor, Take-           segmented by generation as follows:
     away Food Services, Clothing & Footwear, Homewares & Hardware, and Other                                                                         •    Pre-Boomers, aged 72 years or over (19%)
                                                                                                •   Gen Z, aged 16-23 years (13%)
     Retail (e.g. books, games, music, consumer electronics and computers, etc).                                                                      Consumer data has been weighted to ensure
                                                                                                •   Gen Y, aged 24-36 years (24%)                     the results are nationally representative.
Release date: June 2019

The retail landscape
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                                                                                                                                                                                   Edition 8

              Percentage of retailers reporting a positive outlook                                                             Retailers’ revenue growth
                   for business conditions (next 12 months)
                                        H2 2018         H1 2019                                                                 Past 12 months (actual)     Next 12 months (forecast)

   Total                                 42%              34%                                           More than 5% growth             34%                          38%

   Multichannel                          50%              34%                                           1-5% growth                     31%                          35%

   Pure play online                      43%             40%                                            0% growth or decline            35%                          27%

   Bricks and mortar only                19%              27%

   Online sales: proportion of multichannel                  Mobile sales: proportion of retailers’                               Consumers’ online purchasing activity
     retailers’ overall sales (by volume)                         online sales (by volume)
                                                                                                                                                    Past 12 months    Next 12 months (forecast)

              H1 2020 (forecast)       34%                           H1 2020 (forecast)                   45%                    Increase                 53%                   51%

              H1 2019                  28%                           H1 2019                              40%                    Stay the same            41%                   46%

              H2 2018                  29%                           H2 2018                              40%                    Decrease                 6%                     3%

Change in foot traffic over the past 12 months          Change in number of bricks and mortar stores                                         Change in store footprint
                        Multichannel    Bricks and                               Past 12 months            Next 12 months
                                        mortar only                                                          (forecast)
                                                                                                                                 Generally getting larger                     19%

   Increase                42%            49%              Increase                    24%                       33%
                                                                                                                                 Some are getting larger
                                                                                                                                 and some smaller
   Stay the same           32%            30%              Stay the same               71%                       57%
                                                                                                                                 No change                                    31%
   Decrease                26%            21%              Decrease                     5%                       10%
                                                                                                                                 Generally getting smaller                    24%

                                                                     H1: Research in January–June | H2: July–December
Online marketplaces
                                                                                                                            CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                        Edition 8

Consumers’ usage of                              Consumers’ vs retailers’                                Impact of marketplaces on
online marketplaces                              usage of marketplaces                                   consumers’ purchasing
                                                                                                         (past 12 months)

                                                                                        % of retailers
                                                                     % of consumers    currently using
Proportion shopping on marketplaces       97%                        have purchased     marketplace                             Decreased   No change   Increased

Use Western marketplaces only             72%    eBay                     88%              26%           Retailer store           29%         64%         7%
Use both Western and Asian marketplaces   25%    Gumtree                  59%              15%
                                                                                                         Department store         27%         66%         7%
Average number of marketplaces used       6.0    Amazon                   55%              10%
Average number of products                       Facebook
                                          4.0                             30%              20%           Discount
purchased per month                              Marketplace
                                                                                                         department store
                                                                                                                                  17%         71%         12%
Average spend per month                   $104   Google for retail        10%              12%
                                                 At least one                                            Retailer website         15%         70%         15%
Average spend per item                    $26    marketplace
                                                                          97%              50%

Retailers’ usage of                              Why retailers                                           Impact of marketplaces on
online marketplaces                              use marketplaces                                        sales though other channels

Proportion selling through marketplaces   50%    To reach new customer segments                                                 Decreased   No change   Increased
                                                 within Australia (43%)
Use Western marketplaces only             40%                                                            Bricks and mortar        22%         49%        29%
                                                 To grow/improve customer database (38%)
Use both Western and Asian marketplaces   10%
                                                 To increase awareness and trust in brand (38%)          Department store
                                                                                                                                  22%         58%        20%
Average number of marketplaces used        3.1   To increase sales with existing customers (36%)

Proportion that introduced
                                          50%    To drive customers to website/physical store (31%)
                                                                                                         Wholesale                23%         53%         24%
marketplaces in past two years
Percentage of sales volume                       To sell excess stock (27%)
through marketplaces
                                          38%                                                            Website                  21%         41%        38%
Proportion expecting to increase sales           To sell out of season stock (26%)
through marketplaces over next year

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                Edition 8

State by state view

                                              WA                SA and NT                       QLD                NSW and ACT                  VIC and TAS
Forecast business conditions over the next 12 months

                                   H2 2018          H1 2019   H2 2018          H1 2019   H2 2018         H1 2019   H2 2018          H1 2019    H2 2018         H1 2019

Improve                              38%             42%       43%              36%       44%             41%       43%              33%        44%             30%

Stay the same                           36%          46%       43%              43%       40%             40%       44%              49%        46%             54%

Decline                                 26%          12%       14%              21%       16%             19%       13%              18%        10%             16%

Consumer usage of online marketplaces

Total usage                                   94%                       100%                       98%                       97%                         96%

Western marketplaces only                     78%                       76%                        74%                       74%                         73%

Western and Asian marketplaces                22%                       24%                        26%                       26%                         27%

Average number used                           5.6                       5.9                        5.8                       6.1                         6.4

Average spend per month                       $91                       $106                       $96                       $126                        $87

Retailer usage of online marketplaces

Total usage                                   50%                       48%                        58%                       48%                         49%

Western and Asian marketplaces                10%                       5%                         7%                        11%                         10%

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                                  Edition 8

The rise of online marketplaces
Consumers leading the way
With almost all surveyed Australian online shoppers now purchasing through online marketplaces, retailers are beginning to follow suit. However,
while most surveyed retailers agree that spending through marketplaces will rise, only a fraction are prioritising marketplaces as a growth opportunity.

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                                 Edition 8

Adapting to                                                                                                          On average,

                                                                                                                   shoppers spend

change                                                       97%                                                           $104                                   50%
                                                       of online shoppers                                                                                of retailers sell through online
                                                                                                                      per month
                                                   purchase from marketplaces                                                                              marketplaces. A further 17%
                                                                                                                   on marketplaces
The report shows that consumers
                                                                                                                                                         intend to start in the next year
have fundamentally changed their
online purchasing behaviour. Almost all
digital shoppers purchase from online
marketplaces and more than two in every
five purchases they make online is through
this channel – consistent with retailers’
reported sales volume. This is similar across
consumer segments and generations.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed. The number
of retailers adding online marketplaces to
their channel strategy has jumped sharply in
                                                             30%                                                      68%                                      Just 9%       see
                                                    of retailers are uncertain                            of retailers expect consumer
recent years with 50% of those currently using                                                                                                              marketplaces as their top
                                                       about the impact of                                 spending on marketplaces
marketplaces having only adopted them in                                                                                                                     opportunity to grow
the past two years. Half of Australian retailers          marketplaces                                                to grow
now sell through online marketplaces and
generate 38% of their sales volume this way.
Despite the accelerating uptake recently,
a third of retailers are uncertain about the

likely impact of online marketplaces on
their profit margins and the need to have
                                                                       Around                          of retailers expect stores and their own website to drive growth
their own website in the future. A similar
number are undecided about whether or
not online marketplaces are effective at
directing customers to other channels.
More broadly, they are unsure whether
the impact of online marketplaces on
the sector will be positive or negative.
Hence, there are numerous contradictory            "The trend is clear. Consumers are engaging with online marketplaces en masse and
positions both among retailers and between           retailers expect consumer spending to grow further through this channel. However,
retailers and shoppers. For example, a
                                                     uncertainty about the impact among many retailers may lead them to prioritise more
clear majority expect consumer spending
on marketplaces will continue to grow                traditional channels."
significantly over the next two to three            Jerry Macey
years, yet very few see the channel as their        National Manager, Retail Industry, Business and Private Banking, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
biggest opportunity to drive growth.

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                       Edition 8

marketplaces are
the most popular?                                                     Shoppers’ usage of online marketplaces
                                                                      Frequency of purchase through online marketplaces.
Since its launch in Australia in 1999, eBay has been the country’s
number one online marketplace. It remains so today. More than
nine in 10 shoppers purchase from eBay or its affiliate Gumtree
and 56% purchase from both.                                           eBay                                                         70%                                18%
Retailers also recognise eBay’s dominant market position. Among
the 9% of retailers that regard marketplaces as the channel with      Gumtree                                  31%                         28%
the greatest potential to grow their business, eBay is the standout
marketplace of choice.
Will eBay’s domination continue? Not necessarily, given the           Amazon                                 28%                          26%
rapid proliferation of general and niche marketplaces that have
launched in only the last few years. Combined with the finding
that the average Australian online shopper purchases through six      Catch                             18%                 19%
marketplaces, it is likely that an increasing portion of consumer
online spend will be through online marketplaces other than eBay.
                                                                      Facebook Marketplace             17%             13%
For example, almost a quarter of Australian online shoppers are
now using online marketplaces associated with the Alibaba Group,
including AliExpress (17% of consumers) and Alibaba (13%).            Uber Eats                        18%             12%
The change in consumer behaviour is highlighted by take-away
food marketplaces. They only entered the market four years ago,
but already nearly 40% of online shoppers are using them, with        Menulog                        13%             14%
Uber Eats the current leader.

                                                                      AliExpress                  9%         8%

                                                                      Alibaba                    6% 7%

                                                                      Deliveroo                  6% 7%

                                                                      Google for Retail          5% 5%
of online shoppers purchase from marketplaces
associated with the Alibaba Group
                                                                                                   Used frequently    Used occassionaly

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                 Edition 8

Online marketplaces
are changing
shoppers’ behaviour
There is clear evidence that online marketplaces are impacting shoppers’   Impact of online marketplaces on consumer purchasing behaviour
channel preferences, most notably their in-store purchasing behaviour.
                                                                           Shoppers’ perspectives on the impact of using online marketplaces on
As a result of using online marketplaces over the last year, more than     other retail channels in the past year.
a quarter of shoppers report that their in-store visits have decreased,
although according to retailers, the impact on discount department
stores has been more muted to date. So far, there has been no net
impact on shoppers’ purchases through the websites of individual           Physical store
retailers and brands.                                                      of brand/retailer               29%                                    64%               7%

Why shoppers like online marketplaces
The primary drawcards of online marketplaces relate to
value, product and ease of use, with good price (79%)                      Website of
and product range (74%) by far the most important                          brand/retailer
                                                                                                     15%                                  70%                     15%
attractions for shoppers.
Consumers also place a premium on good website
design that makes navigation easy (59%), products
shoppers can’t buy elsewhere (56%), and great discounts
(55%). While there has been a focus on delivery services
among marketplaces, shoppers don’t value free delivery
options (50%) quite as highly as other factors.                            Department stores              27%                                   66%                  7%

       29%                                                                 Discount
                                                                           department stores
                                                                                                      17%                                  71%                     12%

of online shoppers reported to have made fewer purchases
in retailers’ own stores in the past year as a result of
shopping on online marketplaces                                                                     Decreased    No impact    Increased

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                      Edition 8

Consumers shop                                             Use of online marketplaces by shopper type

                                                                                        Total         Trust   Value       Brand        Impulse

                                                           Proportion of shoppers      100%           38%     23%          26%           13%

                                                           Average no. of
We examined the types of shoppers using online             marketplaces
                                                                                        6.0             4.7    6.1          6.8          8.4
marketplaces by segment and by generation. We
identified four shopper segments based on the main
                                                           Average no. of products
drivers of their shopping decisions.
                                                           purchased per month
                                                                                        4.0             3.1    3.3          4.2          7.2
The Trust segment, which accounts for 38% of shoppers,
only buys from retailers they fully trust. They are
cautious when making online payments and sharing           Average spend per item       $26             $27   $24          $33           $20
personal data.
The next largest group, representing 26% of shoppers, is
Brand-driven. They want premium brands, products and
                                                           Average spend per month     $104             $83   $78          $137         $142
service, willing to go out of their way to find them and
then remain loyal.
Value-driven shoppers are after the best deal. This 23%
of shoppers are always on the lookout for the lowest       Use of online marketplaces by generation
price. They like spending considerable time researching

                                                                                        Z               Y     X
the products and services, hunting for the best value.
The final 13% of shoppers are driven by Impulse, with
many of their purchases being unplanned. Online ads,
email alerts and newsletters incite their purchasing.                                  Gen Z          Gen Y   Gen X      Boomers     Pre-Boomers

Brand and Impulse-driven consumers frequent the
highest number of online marketplaces, purchase the        Age range                   16-23          24-36   37-52        53-71         72+
most products and have the highest overall monthly
spend.                                                     Average no. of
                                                                                        6.7             8.4    6.1          4.6          3.7
Looking at the use of online marketplaces by generation,
it isn’t surprising to see that Pre-Boomers spend the
least while Gen Y makes the most purchases across the      Average no. of products
highest average number of online marketplaces.             purchased per month
                                                                                        3.3             5.6    3.9          3.2          3.0

There is a clear difference in online marketplace
spending patterns between shopper types and across         Average spend per item       $28             $24   $28          $29           $22
generations. It is therefore imperative that retailers
consider their customers’ behaviours when seeking to
match their use of online marketplaces with their
target market.
                                                           Average spend per month      $93           $133    $108         $92           $65

The products
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                                                                                                                                                                                     Edition 8

and attributes
that appeal to                                                 Male and female shoppers differ in the products they seek*
                                                               Products purchased via online marketplaces in the past 12 months.

shoppers                                                           40%

Across generations and shopper types, books, gaming,                                                              31%
music and media dominate purchases through online
marketplaces. The next two most popular categories are                                                                                 23%                          22%
consumer electronics/computers and health and beauty.
                                                                              18%                   20%                                                                                 19%
By shopper segment, value fashion is another favourite
category with Value and Impulse-driven shoppers.
Generational differences are also apparent. Recreation and
leisure goods are popular with Gen X and Pre-Boomers
while take-away food is high on the list of purchases Gen Y        Value Fashion              Health and          Homewares            Consumer             Hardware        Motor vehicle parts
and Gen Z make on online marketplaces.                                                         Beauty                                  Electronics                           and accessories
Gender also plays a part. Females purchase far more
                                                                                                                            Female     Male
health and beauty products, value fashion and homewares
on online marketplaces than their male counterparts.
Men’s purchases are dominated by consumer electronics,
hardware, building and gardening products and car parts        Key choice attributes indicate points of difference
and accessories.                                               What consumers like about online marketplaces.
The findings around why shoppers are drawn to the
various marketplaces reveal more nuanced perspectives.
Shoppers are attracted to different marketplaces for                        eBay                    Gumtree                                                                  Menulog
different reasons.
                                                                       Good product                                       Amazon                     Uber Eats               Fast delivery
Catch, for example, is known for great discounts and                                                Good price
                                                                          range                                         Detailed, precise                Price                 options
Facebook Marketplace stands out for making purchases                                              Good website
                                                                        Free delivery                                     description                Website design         Easy to use on
with mobile phones easy. Etsy has been particularly                                                 design
successful at pleasing shoppers by offering products                       options                                                                                             mobile
unavailable elsewhere, supported by high-quality,
detailed photos.
This differentiation should be a consideration for retailers                                                                 Esty
seeking to target customers based on certain preferences.                                        Facebook            Has products I cant                           Deliveroo
A strategy based on understanding these needs is crucial.                  Catch                Marketplace            get elsewhere
                                                                                                                                                                 Good menu range
                                                                      Great discounts            Easy to use on          Good quality,
                                                                                                    mobile              detailed pictures                 Convenient delivery options


                                                                   Male n=696, Female n=766
CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                              Edition 8

Online marketplaces – the retailer perspective
Following the lead of consumers
Just as shoppers have different reasons for using the marketplaces they do, retailers have different
objectives for their online marketplace strategy. These influence their choice of marketplace.

Why half of
                                                                                                                                            CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                   Edition 8

surveyed use
marketplaces                                                  Reach, customer data and awareness are attracting retailers
                                                              Retailers’ key objectives for using online marketplaces.
Despite the level of uncertainty about the impact of
online marketplaces on their business and the retail sector
overall, 50% of retailers sell through online marketplaces.   Reach new customer
These retailers are generating 38% of their sales volume      segments in Australia
through marketplaces, broadly corresponding with
the 41% of online purchases that consumers report.
The biggest users of online marketplaces are pure play        customer database                                                                              38%
online retailers. They generate 58% of their sales this way
versus just 22% of multi-channel retailers’ online sales.
                                                              Increase brand
More generally, retailers turning over in excess of $10       awareness and trust                                                                            38%
million are less reliant on online marketplaces, generating
just 28% of their sales volume from them. That compares
                                                              Increase sales with
with more than 41% among smaller retailers.
                                                              existing customers
The retailers who have incorporated online
marketplaces into their channel strategy do so to
                                                              Drive customers to
increase sales to existing and new customers, as
                                                              website/physical store                                                               31%
well as improve brand awareness. They view them
as effective at driving customers to their stores
and websites. According to some retailers, online
marketplaces are also useful to sell excess and out-          Sell excess stock                                                              27%
of-season stock and open up new global markets.

                                                              Sell out of season stock                                                      26%

                                                              Sell different/wider product

                                                              range than other channels

                                                              Reach new markets
of retailers use marketplaces to reach                        internationally
new customer segments in Australia
                                                                                                 Objectives for using marketplaces

CommBank Retail Insights Report
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                                                                The vast majority of retailers expect that consumers will increase         Compared with retailers that haven’t yet ventured into
                                                                spending through online marketplaces and usage among                       online marketplaces, retailers already using them are twice
                                                                retailers is accelerating. Half of all retailers currently selling         as likely to view them as effective for driving customers

                                                                through online marketplaces have started doing so in only the              to other channels. In fact, more than one-third of these
                                                                past two years. However, for the retail industry overall, a majority       retailers report increased traffic to their website although
                                                                believe they put pressure on profit margins and will have a                this doesn’t tally with consumers’ self-reported change

- opportunity
                                                                negative impact on the sector in the short to medium term.                 in in-store purchasing behaviour over the past year.
                                                                As more retailers use or trial online marketplaces, considerable           Despite retailers’ views that consumer spending through

or threat?
                                                                uncertainty exists, and contradictory views are evident. Almost            online marketplaces will continue to grow apace, only 9% of
                                                                one in three retailers are unsure of the impact that online                retailers view online marketplaces as the sales channel with
                                                                marketplaces will have on the industry. More than one-third are            the most signifciant opportunity to drive growth. The vast
                                                                uncertain of how online marketplaces will affect profit margins.           majority regard their own website (40%) or their physical
                                                                An even greater proportion don’t know if they are effective at             stores (39%) as the channel with the greatest potential.
                                                                driving customers to other channels and whether or not they will           Perhaps this is another reflection of the level of uncertainty
                                                                continue to need their own branded website in the coming years.            around the ultimate impact of online marketplaces.

Retailer perception of online marketplaces                                                                                  Retailers report net increase in website, in-store sales
                                                                                                                            The impact of online marketplaces on sales volumes through other channels.

                    22%                  16%        16%                         15%        16%
 27%                                                                                                                        Website                    21%               41%                    38%
                                    30%                                   33%
                                                       38%                                      36%

     Spending on online           Online marketplaces will have a        It is difficult to maintain profit
                                                                                                                            Bricks and mortar          22%                     49%                 29%
   marketplaces will grow          negative impact on Australian          margins when selling through
significantly in next 2-3 years        retail in next 2-3 years                 online marketplaces

          9% 11%                                 6%                                                                         Wholesale                  23%                     53%                  24%
                                     29%                                          Fully agree
                                                        28%                       Somewhat agree
 37%                                                                              Unsure
                                                                                                                            Department store
                                                                                                                                                       22%                      58%                  20%

   Online marketplaces are        Online marketplaces will remove
effective for driving customers    the need for own websites in
       to other channels                  next 2-3 years                                                                                              Decreased    No impact     Increased

CommBank Retail Insights Report
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Aligning with
Which marketplaces are retailers using? They’re         Online marketplace usage (retailers versus consumers)
not necessarily the same ones that shoppers
use. For example, surveyed retailers are more
likely than consumers to use Google for Retail
and far less likely to be selling through the most
popular online marketplaces among shoppers.
Ideally, a retailer’s marketplace strategy should
consider both the target shopper type and the                                                    26%              14%
attributes of the marketplace. For example, retailers
wanting to attract Value shoppers might use
marketplaces like Catch and Gumtree. eBay’s free
delivery options would likely be popular among                                                        30%
Impulse shoppers given how many purchases they          Facebook Marketplace
make through online marketplaces each month.
                                                                                           20%                 15%
Different consumers use different marketplaces
for different purposes. This is one of many crucial
considerations for retailers when formulating their
approach. Another is to align this with their own                                                                                           59%
position in the market and what they are trying         Gumtree
to achieve by selling on online marketplaces.
These considerations will help determine which                                        15%      10%
ones to incorporate in their channel strategies.

                                                        Google for Retail

                                                                                  12%             15%


of surveyed retailers use eBay                                                  10%            14%
compared to 88% of shoppers

                                                                               Consumers use   Retailers use     Retailers to introduce within 12 months

CommBank Retail Insights Report
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The effectiveness of online
marketplaces – in retailers’ eyes                                                                                                               "Each online marketplace
                                                                                                                                                  has its unique strengths and
                                                                                                                                                  challenges. It is critical to
                                                                                                                                                  understand your position
Just as shoppers have a variety of reasons for using online marketplaces that determine the sites they use most, retailers have
different objectives when selling on them. This influences their choice of online marketplaces.
                                                                                                                                                  in the market and your
                                                                                                                                                  objectives in adopting online
The most common objective when using online marketplaces is to reach new customer segments in Australia. Next comes
                                                                                                                                                  marketplaces within your
improving their customer database and lifting brand awareness and trust. Other common goals are to increase sales to existing
customers and drive customers to other channels.                                                                                                  channel strategy. Then you
                                                                                                                                                  can map this to the online
Most retailers who have incorporated online marketplaces into their channel strategy believe they are achieving their objectives.
Etsy, the marketplace that is most differentiated in terms of quality niche products and being inspiring in the eyes of shoppers, is              marketplaces that your
the most successful (74%* ) in delivering to retailers’ objectives. Google for Retail comes next, closely followed by eBay and Amazon.            target customers are using."
Adopting online marketplaces as a channel also has its challenges. While the intensity of competition is a common issue across                   Jerry Macey
most marketplaces, retailers consider high fees and commissions a particular challenge when using eBay and Google for Retail.                    National Manager, Retail Industry, Business and
Meanwhile, Amazon and Facebook Marketplace present more challenges when it comes to control over product placement.                              Private Banking, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Online marketplaces are expected to deliver different benefits
Key objectives for using online marketplaces.

      Reach new customers in                           Improve customer      Drive customers to     Sell excess           Sell out of          Reach new                         Success
             Australia                                     database           other channels          stock              season stock    international customers                  Rate

                      eBay                                                                             eBay                  eBay                                                  68%

         Facebook Marketplace                        Facebook Marketplace    Facebook Marketplace                                                                                  62%

                   Gumtree                                     Gumtree                               Gumtree                                                                       52%

             Google for Retail                           Google for Retail     Google for Retail                                                                                   70%

                   Amazon                                                          Amazon                                                       Amazon                             66%

                      Etsy*                                                                            Etsy*                                      Etsy*                            74%

    Small sample size was used. Results are indicative only.
CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                          Edition 8

Expert view: Standing out from
the crowd on online marketplaces

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Edition 8

Alana Fennessy of ChannelAdvisor                                                                has a different requirement in terms of how your data is           to account suspensions, while good CRTs increase your
                                                                                                presented to the consumer. Let’s take images for example.          chances of winning top-selling positions or the buy box.
explains some of the essentials for
                                                                                                I describe images as being the single most important               Exceptional service across the board, including the post-
retailer success on online marketplaces                                                         detail when trying to generate interest from buyers and            sales experience and even your policy for returns, is how
                                                                                                each marketplace has different image requirements.                 to directly engage with your customers on marketplaces.
Having identified the marketplaces that match your                                              For example, eBay allows up to twelve images per item,
                                                                                                whereas best practice on Amazon is seven. The main image           Delivery costs and times also impact conversions. One
objectives with your target customers’ preferences,
                                                                                                must be a clean product photo on a white background.               study found that 32% of Australian consumers give up
what’s next? Key considerations include visibility,
                                                                                                                                                                   on their carts due to out-of-stock items and 29% don’t
promotions, customer service, and fulfilment.
                                                                                                The third phase is what I refer to as: ‘It's time to sell more’!   purchase if they see longer than expected delivery times.2
Consumers have changed their shopping patterns                                                  Sellers can boost visibility by utilising the promotional          Your consumers aren’t just looking for your products.
dramatically in the past 10 years. They have adapted to                                         tools available on each marketplace. Amazon Advertising            They’re also filtering results by delivery options as well.
the changing e-commerce landscape, and marketplaces                                             includes Sponsored Product Ads and Sponsored Brand
                                                                                                Ads which are all a cost-per-click model, while eBay’s             Delivery is potentially one of the biggest competitive
now play an enormous role in how they search for
                                                                                                Promoted Listings is a cost-per-conversion model, so it            advantages in e-commerce. Research indicates that 60%
products. PayPal’s September 2018 mCommerce
                                                                                                is a relatively risk-free way to boost sales (as you only          of online shoppers have chosen between competitors
report found that marketplaces are the top destination
                                                                                                pay when a customer shows interest in your product                 based on convenience of delivery options.3 When done
for 48% of Australian shoppers when browsing with
                                                                                                or purchases). Retailers should also take advantage of             well, offering a same-day option can both influence a
intent to purchase. That is higher than search engines
                                                                                                eBay’s Promotions Manager, which allows sellers to                 consumer’s decision to buy and improve customer loyalty.
(43%) and e-commerce stores (29%).1 Clearly, retailers
must ensure they feature high on the search results                                             highlight promotions such as volume discounts or free              It is therefore essential to meet (or exceed) your
of these marketplaces. The question is how?                                                     shipping. Catch does not currently have a cost-per-click           customers’ expectations for delivery when selling on
                                                                                                or conversion model of advertising, but retailers can work         marketplaces. Differentiate yourself through fulfilment
The first step is physically creating your listings on each                                     directly with the Catch team to purchase banners or eDMs           by using programs such as Amazon Prime, Fulfilment by
channel, and this can easily be done by partnering with the                                     (electronic direct mails) to promote their products.               Amazon (FBA), eBay Guaranteed Delivery and eBay Plus.
right solution. When it comes to listing on marketplaces,
data is key. The more product data a retailer has within                                        Bricks and mortar retailers can take advantage of                  Whether you want Amazon to take care of the picking,
their product feed, the more enriched your listings                                             eBay’s Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) offering                packing, and shipping for you (using FBA) or you
can become. As a next step I would like to call out the                                         which allows consumers to pick up their eBay                       fulfill your marketplaces orders yourself, it’s really
optimisation phase, meaning that once a retailer’s listings                                     order from a retailer’s physical store. This allows                about understanding the power of fast fulfilment.
are live on a marketplace, they then need to be finetuned                                       retailers to upsell to the customer or convert them
and optimised to achieve the best organic performance.                                          to their own customers while they are in-store.                    That’s why I believe the future battleground in Australian
                                                                                                                                                                   retail will be logistics – how quickly retailers can get
To ensure you have enriched and optimised listings,                                             Marketplaces have also changed what consumers                      products to purchasers, driven by marketplace offerings.
you need to be across each marketplace’s best practices                                         expect from retailers in terms of customer service.
and adapt your data to meet their requirements. All                                             Maintaining positive reviews and ratings is important
marketplaces require Global Trade Item Numbers,                                                 to build trust. Here, Contact Response Times (CRT)
                                                                                                                                                                   Alana Fennessy
commonly known as GTINs, so your products can be                                                are critical. Customers with a complaint or query don’t
                                                                                                                                                                   Head of Client Engagement, ChannelAdvisor Australia
matched to their catalogues. However, every marketplace                                         want to wait. On Amazon, poor CRTs can actually lead

1 page 25

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                        Edition 8

Western versus Asian marketplaces
Distinct differences
Asian online marketplaces attract a shopper with a unique profile. Is it a coincidence that retailers using Asian marketplaces
are far more confident and expect higher revenue growth than those only using Western marketplaces?

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                              Edition 8

use of Asian
While 72% of surveyed online shoppers use Western-style      Profile of consumers who buy from Western and Asian marketplaces
online marketplaces only a quarter purchase from both
Western and Asian online marketplaces. The Alibaba
Group – AliExpress, Alibaba, Lazada, Tmall and Taobao
– and dominate.
                                                                                                                                                      Use both
This group of shoppers tends to use many online                                                                               Use Western
                                                                                                                                                  Western and Asian
marketplaces, as well as buy more products and spend                                                                        marketplaces only
more each month than the average online marketplace
shopper. They also shop across a broader range of
categories. They tend to be younger, particularly Gen Y,
                                                             Average no. of products
live in metro areas and speak an Asian language at home.
                                                             purchased per month                                                  3.0                   6.7
Consumers who use both Western and Asian marketplaces
are sophisticated online shoppers. They are most likely to
be Impulse shoppers, have higher expectations of online
                                                             Average spend
marketplaces than their peers and seek an outstanding
                                                             per month                                                           $84                 $161.50
experience when they shop. While they are most likely to
be attracted to online marketplaces that offer good prices
and product range – in line with their peers who shop on                          Inspiring                                       35%                   60%
only Western marketplaces – they are far more likely to      Reason for
seek inspiration and free returns.                           choosing western     Offer free returns                              20%                   39%
                                                             or western
                                                             and Asian            Feature great discounts                         50%                   68%
                                                                                  Provide good customer service                   35%                   53%

                                                                                  Health and beauty                               26%                   38%

Surveyed shoppers using                                                           Value fashion                                   27%                   37%
Western and Asian                                            Most purchased       Groceries                                       14%                   25%
marketplaces spend                                           product categories
$161.50/month, almost                                                             Fast food and quick-service restaurants         18%                   29%
double those using just                                                           DIY, hardware, building                         15%                   24%
Western marketplaces                                                              and gardening products

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                                                 Edition 8

use of Asian
Among the 50% of retailers using online marketplaces,         Retailers using Asian marketplaces are far more optimistic
the majority only use Western-style marketplaces, but
20% of them use both Western and Asian-style ones.
Around 10% of all Australian retailers sell through the
Alibaba Group and 4% use Users are skewed                                                         51%
towards retailers of homewares and hardware and                                                                                                                                    49%
retailers with annual turnover of $1 million to $9.9
million. Taobao is favoured by the Food & Liquor sector
while ‘Other Retail’, covering products like music, games,
books and consumer electronics, prefers AliExpress.                                 40%                                                 41%*
They are more prolific users of marketplaces in general,
on average selling products through 8.4 marketplaces               33%
compared to 1.8 among those only using Western
marketplaces.                                                                                                                29%
Retailers selling through Asian marketplaces are more
likely to be trying to reach international markets, viewing                                                                                                   23%
them as more effective at reaching customers outside
of Australia than their own websites. They therefore                                                                                                                     19%
need support with logistics and deliveries in these new
markets. However, this reliance on the marketplace’s
delivery capability is also regarded as a challenge.
Other issues encountered are lack of transparency
around fees and lack of influence over product
placement. Retailers also report less success in achieving
their objectives on Asian marketplaces compared with               5%+ growth over             5%+ growth expected             sales expected         Sales generated      Net Business
Western marketplaces. AliExpress rates best in terms of           the past 12 months            in next 12 months             to be generated       from online orders      Confidence
retailers’ success.                                                                                                         from online orders       in next 12 months    (positive minus
                                                                                                                               (multichannel           (multichannel     negative outlook)
Despite all that, retailers using Asian online marketplaces                                                                       retailers)              retailers)
are more likely to be optimistic about growth.

                                                                    Use Western marketplaces only         Use both Western And Asian marketplaces

                                                                  Low base sizes.
CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                        Edition 8

Outlook and marketplace usage
Sector insights
Optimism about future business conditions has moderated in most sectors. The level of current and intended engagement
with online marketplaces varies widely across sectors, as do the channels being prioritised in pursuit of future sales growth.

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                               Edition 8

                          Food & Liquor

                          Outlook                                    Forecast business conditions over the next 12 months

                          Like most other sectors, confidence        H2 2018                       H1 2019
                          that business conditions will improve
                          in the next 12 months has noticeably         Improve: 46%                  Improve: 36%
                          fallen from six months earlier.              Stay the same: 42%            Stay the same: 51%
                          However, net confidence among
                          retailers in the Food & Liquor sector        Decline: 12%                  Decline: 13%
                          is currently the highest of all sectors.

                          Retailers’ usage of                        Usage of online               Top marketplaces          Objectives for
                          online marketplaces                        marketplaces                  used*                     marketplaces

                          Food & Liquor retailers are currently      Currently use: 33%            Google for Retail: 46%    Increase
                          the least likely to use online                                                                     awareness/trust :37%
                          marketplaces and those that do             Considering                   eBay: 37%
                          tend to have only incorporated them        introducing: 15%                                        Increase sales
                                                                                                   Facebook                  (existing customers): 37%
                          into their channel strategy in the         Introduced in the             Marketplace: 37%
                          past two years. These numbers are          past two years*: 63%                                    Reach new segments: 31%
                          expected to increase by almost 50%
                          in the coming year, albeit from a
                          lower base. There is also a greater
net business confidence   proportion of Food & Liquor retailers
                          using Google for Retail than seen in
                          any other sector.

                          Channel focus                              Priority sales channels

                          Only 5% of retailers in the sector see     Bricks & mortar stores: 47%
                          online marketplaces as their biggest
                          growth opportunity. Given the              Own website: 32%
                          majority of Food & Liquor retailers        Department store concession: 9%
                          reporting rising foot traffic in their
                          store in the year to date, physical        Wholesale: 7%
                          stores are their preferred channel to
                                                                     Online marketplaces: 5%
                          grow sales.

                              Low sample size. Indicative only.

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                        Edition 8

                                     Take-away Food Services

                                     Outlook                                  Forecast business conditions over the next 12 months

                                     Optimism about future business           H2 2018                       H1 2019
                                     conditions has dropped sharply
                                     since the last edition and the             Improve: 51%                  Improve: 29%
                                     majority of these retailers now have       Stay the same: 42%            Stay the same: 57%
                                     a neutral outlook. The Take-away
                                     Food Services sector is also the least     Decline: 7%                   Decline: 14%
                                     confident that business conditions
                                     will improve, likely impacted by the
                                     13% fall in foot traffic over the past

                                     six months.

                                     Retailers’ usage of                      Usage of online               Top marketplaces          Objectives for
                                     online marketplaces                      marketplaces                  used                      marketplaces

                                     Currently the second largest             Currently use: 57%            Uber Eats: 64%            Grow customer
                                     users and the most likely of any                                                                 database: 50%
                                     sector to have introduced online         Considering                   Menulog: 52%
                                     marketplaces in the past two years.      introducing: 23%                                        Increase sales
                                                                                                            Deliveroo: 32%            (existing customers): 42%
                                     The number of Take-away Food             Introduced in the
                                     Services retailers considering joining
of those using online marketplaces   an online marketplace could see
                                                                              past two years: 74%                                     Increase
                                                                                                                                      awareness/trust: 36%
    introduced them in the past      the sector overtake the Clothing
             two years               & Footwear sector as the most
                                     prolific users. Among the narrower
                                     selection of take-away related online
                                     marketplaces, Uber Eats is the most
                                     popular among retailers.

                                     Channel focus                            Priority sales channels

                                     Despite the rapid adoption of online     Bricks & mortar stores: 64%
                                     marketplaces in the last two years,
                                     the overwhelming majority see their      Own website: 31%
                                     physical outlets as the channel that     Online marketplaces: 5%
                                     offers most potential for growth.

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                    Edition 8

                                Clothing & Footwear

                                Outlook                                   Forecast business conditions over the next 12 months

                                Positive sentiment has edged down         H2 2018                       H1 2019
                                from six months earlier so that only
                                slightly over a third of Clothing           Improve: 41%                  Improve: 34%
                                & Footwear retailers expect their           Stay the same: 45%           Stay the same: 48%
                                market to pick up in the coming
                                year. Among the sectors, Clothing           Decline: 14%                  Decline: 18%
                                & Footwear retailers also reported
                                the largest drop in foot traffic in the
                                past six months while online sales

                                remained steady.

                                Retailers’ usage of                       Usage of online               Top marketplaces          Objectives for
                                online marketplaces                       marketplaces                  used                      marketplaces

                                Clothing & Footwear retailers are         Currently use: 61%            eBay: 54%                 Reach new
                                currently the largest users of online                                                             segments: 68%
                                marketplaces and 16% of retailers         Considering                   Facebook
                                in the sector are still considering       introducing: 16%              Marketplace: 35%          Increase
                                incorporating online marketplaces                                                                 awareness/trust: 42%
                                                                          Introduced in the             Amazon: 28%
                                into their channel strategy. A sizeable
are using online marketplaces   majority are using them to reach
                                                                          past two years: 45%                                     Sell excess stock: 42%

                                new customer segments in Australia,
                                however the level of competition,
                                along with high fees and
                                commissions, are notable challenges.

                                Channel focus                             Priority sales channels

                                Of all the sectors, Clothing &            Own website: 46%
                                Footwear retailers see the most
                                potential in online marketplaces.         Bricks & mortar stores: 24%
                                But at 16%, they sit far behind           Online marketplaces: 16%
                                their own websites (46%) as a
                                priority for future growth.               Department store concession: 9%
                                                                          Wholesale: 5%

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                       Edition 8

                                      Homewares & Hardware

                                      Outlook                                 Forecast business conditions over the next 12 months

                                      Despite online sales and foot traffic   H2 2018                       H1 2019
                                      remaining steady in the past six
                                      months, confidence has fallen             Improve: 47%                  Improve: 33%
                                      among retailers of Homewares              Stay the same: 39%           Stay the same: 48%
                                      & Hardware.
                                                                                Decline: 14%                  Decline: 19%

                                      Retailers’ usage of                     Usage of online               Top marketplaces          Objectives for
                                      online marketplaces                     marketplaces                  used                      marketplaces

                                      In line with the industry average,      Currently use: 49%            eBay: 58%                 Grow customer
                                      around half of retailers in the                                                                 database :47%
                                      Homewares & Hardware category           Considering                   Facebook
                                      use online marketplaces and 15%         introducing: 15%              Marketplace: 47%          Increase
                                      are considering doing so in the near                                                            awareness/trust: 38%
                                                                              Introduced in the             Gumtree: 27%
                                      future. The most common reason          past two years: 46%                                     Reach new
                                      for adopting marketplaces as a                                                                  segments: 35%
                                      channel is to improve their customer
                                      database. More Homewares &
                                      Hardware retailers are using eBay
  believe their own website is the    than any other sector.
channel that will drive most growth
         over the next year           Channel focus                           Priority sales channels

                                      Out of all the categories,              Own website: 52%
                                      Homewares & Hardware retailers
                                      are the most likely to view             Bricks & mortar stores: 29%
                                      their own website as the most           Online marketplaces: 8%
                                      promising avenue to grow sales.
                                                                              Wholesale: 6%
                                                                              Department store concession: 5%

CommBank Retail Insights Report
                                                                                                                                                        Edition 8

                                     Other Retail
                                     Outlook                                  Forecast business conditions over the next 12 months

                                     The Other Retail sector includes a       H2 2018                       H1 2019
                                     range of categories highly dependent
                                     on discretionary consumption,              Improve: 35%                  Improve: 37%
                                     including bookshops, music,                Stay the same: 48%           Stay the same: 44%
                                     entertainment and recreational
                                     goods. The sector stands out for           Decline: 17%                  Decline: 19%
                                     being the only one where optimism
                                     has slightly increased from six
                                     months earlier. It has replaced
                                     the Take-away Food Services and
                                     Food & Liquor categories as having
                                     the largest proportion of retailers
                                     expecting trading conditions to
                                     improve in the coming 12 months.

                                     Retailers’ usage of                      Usage of online               Top marketplaces          Objectives for
                                     online marketplaces                      marketplaces                  used                      marketplaces

                                     The Other Retail category was            Currently use: 51%            eBay: 55%                 Reach new
                                     among the first to embrace online                                                                segments: 46%
                                     marketplaces. Of the retailers in this   Considering                   Facebook
                                     category using online marketplaces,      introducing: 16%              Marketplace: 45%          Increase sales
                                     30% started selling on this channel                                                              (existing customers): 43%
                                                                              Introduced in the             Gumtree: 35%
                                     six years ago or more. eBay and its      past two years: 35%                                     Drive customers
                                     affiliate Gumtree are among the
of those using online marketplaces   category’s most popular sites as they
                                                                                                                                      to website/physical
                                                                                                                                      store: 37%
    started doing so more than       seek to reach new customers and
           two years ago             increase sales to existing customers.
                                     However, intense competition and
                                     high fees and commissions are
                                     key challenges.

                                     Channel focus                            Priority sales channels

                                     Despite their early adoption of          Bricks & mortar stores: 43%
                                     online marketplaces, an above-
                                     average percentage of retailers          Own website: 35%
                                     in this category still consider this     Online marketplaces: 11%
                                     channel has potential to grow
                                     sales. Nevertheless, they still see      Wholesale: 9%
                                     physical stores and their own
                                                                              Department store concession: 2%
                                     websites as far higher priorities
                                     when looking for growth.

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Things you should know: This report is published solely for information purposes. As this report has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on the information in this report, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and if
necessary seek the appropriate professional advice. The information in this report is based on a survey of 592 decision-makers from small, medium and large retailers across Australia, with turnover ranging from less than $1 million to over $500 million, as well as 1,508 consumers, by ACA Research on behalf
of the Commonwealth Bank. Any opinions, views of contributors, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made, based on the information available at the time of this report’s compilation, but no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is made or provided as to the accuracy,
reliability or completeness of any statement made in this report. Any opinions, conclusions or recommendations set forth are subject to change without notice. Any projections and forecasts are based on a number of assumptions and estimates and are subject to contingences and uncertainties. Different
assumptions and estimates could result in materially different results. The survey was undertaken by ACA Research on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank and the analysis was undertaken by ACA Research. All analysis and reviews of future market conditions are solely those of the Commonwealth Bank. The
Commonwealth Bank and DBM Consultants do not accept any liability for loss or damage arising out of the use of all or any part of the Report. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124, ASFL and Australian credit licence 234945.
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