OnBuy Marketplace Survey

OnBuy Survey: Consumers Confused About Role of Online Marketplaces


In a new survey conducted by British marketplace OnBuy, nearly two-thirds of consumers (64%) expressed a desire to support independent retailers in 2022.

However, 90% of them believe the only way to do so is to buy directly from them. The survey also revealed that 75% of respondents think that marketplaces compete with their sellers.

Over the past two years, Covid lockdown measures have led to many retailers selling through online marketplaces to increase their presence and reach a wider base of customers.

The challenges faced by small retailers in competing with larger brands are already well known to consumers, which is why so many consumers prefer to buy from small business merchants.

However, the aggressive growth tactics of those straddling the line between a marketplace and retailer have led to a misconception that all marketplaces are working against small sellers.

Having been recently named to the FT1000, a list of the fastest-growing companies in Europe, OnBuy is dedicated to reshaping the eCommerce landscape and changing consumer perceptions of online marketplaces.

The company has vowed never to compete with its retailers and to treat them fairly as equal partners instead.

An example of this partnership promise was seen during last year’s Black Friday sales event when OnBuy cut its own commission sitewide to help retailers offer the best prices.

This fresh approach has resonated with retailers and consumers alike, resulting in the marketplace’s continued growth, despite a significant post-Covid slowdown in the eCommerce market overall.

“The results of this survey are very telling in terms of how consumers view marketplaces. Many of the marketplaces today also operate as retailers, giving consumers the idea that they all compete directly with high street and independent retailers, but that shouldn’t be the case.”

Cas Paton, CEO & Founder of OnBuy

“The eCommerce landscape is flawed and needs an overhaul. In its purest form, a marketplace is there to facilitate the buying and selling of goods, and that’s what we’ve built here at OnBuy,” added Patton.

“We are different. Fairness and transparency are core tenets of our organization, and that allows us to provide the best environment for retailers to grow,” he emphasized.

Katie Lindop, eCommerce Sales Director, at award-winning cookware and kitchen accessories brand, Swan agreed.

“Given the competitive market online, from a manufacturing and distribution standpoint, if we’re competing with the marketplace itself, we need to stay one step ahead, which makes our job harder as we react to things that happened yesterday, rather than proactively looking at things we could be doing next,” she explained.

“Listing on OnBuy makes it easier, as we manage our own distribution, are able to control our product and pricing, and how we are perceived in the market. This gives us more visibility without devaluing our brand,” Lindop added.

OnBuy Believes in Fairness All-Around

In another nod to the company’s commitment to fair treatment, CEO Cas Paton has been keen to recognize that the hard work of employees is linked to their success, rewarding its 100+ staff with over £1 million in granted share options.

Survey Methodology: OnBuy conducted a poll through OnePoll of 2,000 UK employed adults carried out between 11-18 January 2022. OnePoll is a member of ESOMAR and an MRS Company Partner employing members of the MRS.

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