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Pattern study reveals trust gap in Australian online shopping

In an industry-first study conducted by global eCommerce accelerator Pattern, Australian shoppers have expressed stark differences in their perception of various online marketplaces. Despite their rapid rise in popularity, platforms like Temu and Shein received notably low marks for product quality.

The comprehensive survey examined consumer views regarding seven major eCommerce platforms: Amazon, eBay, Catch, Kogan, Temu, MyDeal, and Shein. Temu emerged with the lowest approval rating, with only 7% of Australian shoppers expressing trust in its product quality. Shein fared slightly better but still saw just 8% of participants vouching for the quality of its products. In contrast, Amazon achieved a leading position, with 58% of shoppers trusting the quality of goods available on its site.

“Temu and Shein have made significant inroads into the Australian eCommerce market, particularly among younger consumers. However, they face substantial challenges in improving perceptions around product quality, returns, and convenience,” observed Merline McGregor, General Manager of Pattern Australia. The data reveal that Amazon’s comprehensive and transparent rating and review system helps solidify its lead in consumer trust.

Cost-of-living pressures are driving more Australians to turn to online marketplaces for their shopping needs. The study found that 94% of Australians planned to purchase from platforms such as Amazon, Catch, and eBay in 2024. Shopping events, streamlined price comparisons, and convenience were key factors behind this growing trend, particularly with Amazon’s Prime Day becoming a significant attraction in the Australian calendar.

High-income households are also propelling marketplace growth. The survey showed that more than 80% of households earning over USD $200,000 shop on Amazon, while 34% of consumers in the USD $160,000 to $199,000 bracket have shopped on Shein in the past year.

Convenience appears to be a crucial factor for Australian shoppers, with 56% finding Amazon to be the most user-friendly platform. eBay followed with 46%, and Catch trailed at 23%. These results point to Amazon’s strong Prime membership benefits, free and fast shipping, and advanced algorithms that tailor the shopping experience as significant advantages. In terms of returns, 49% of shoppers rated Amazon’s process as the most reliable, far outpacing other marketplaces.

The breadth of product range is another area where Amazon excels. Approximately 60% of Australian shoppers believe Amazon offers the widest variety of products, followed by eBay at 52%. Other platforms, including Catch (20%), Temu (17%), Kogan (14%), Shein (11%), and MyDeal (8%), lag significantly in this area. This range also translates to higher site traffic, with Amazon averaging 75.2 million monthly visits compared to 50.9 million for eBay.

McGregor stressed the importance of brands being present on these larger platforms to reach wider audiences. “The larger marketplaces, while competitive, provide brands the biggest audience of potential shoppers. It’s crucial for brands to establish their presence on platforms with extensive product ranges to attract higher web traffic,” she concluded.