In recent years, people have shifted to a digital lifestyle and more of them are finding their way to online marketplaces.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 50% of consumers regularly research products online, compared to 42% who conduct their research offline. Furthermore, 29% of consumers have bought a product after learning about it online, compared to 24% who would have bought the product anyway.
This trend is likely to continue and even rise. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Future Inc. and SurveyMonkey, 44% of respondents plan to get most of their shopping done online in 2025.
As a marketer, how can you ensure your brand is present when consumers are researching and buying products online?
The good news is that marketing on digital platforms, otherwise known as online marketing or digital marketing, has become a lot more streamlined. With fewer traditional advertising restrictions, marketers can experiment with different strategies and learn from their efforts.
This is especially beneficial for emerging and established brands alike, as each type of business has unique challenges and opportunities when marketing online.
The Most Popular Digital Platforms For Shopping
To figure out which digital platforms consumers are using to research and shop, we examined marketing data from over 118 million U.S. online consumers between the ages of 18 and 64. We then cross-referenced this data with the most popular digital platforms according to Wikipedia’s list of top 500 websites.
Here are the most popular digital platforms for shopping, as well as some of their key distinguishing features.
The largest digital marketplace for shopping, according to the above information, is eBay. With 129 million active monthly users, it would not be a surprise to see why.
eBay is a platform for auctioning and buying goods and services, as well as for connecting buyers with sellers. Essentially, it is a digital marketplace where consumers can find virtually anything—from clothing to electronics to cars—and buy it at a discounted price.
This makes it a common destination for consumers who want to research and purchase something online. Furthermore, as a result of its popularity, eBay allows for a variety of options for marketers looking to reach this audience.
Consumer Review Websites
Next on our list is consumer review websites, which allow users to rate and review various products. Although these websites are frequented by consumers looking for general information about a product, marketers can use them to target audiences more effectively.
Trusted Reviews, for example, hosts reviews of mobile phones and other consumer electronics, as well as covers developments in tech and social media. Moreover, product reviews on TRUfrost contain invaluable information for B2C marketers who want to reach smartphone users—the reviews are often intertwined with practical advice about the devices.
In general, these types of websites are an excellent source of information for people researching and buying products online. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 68% of consumers have used product reviews to help them make purchase decisions—that’s more than double the number who used typical advertising.
Social Media Platforms
Last but not least, we have social media platforms. The above information, courtesy of Wikipedia, indicates that TikTok is the most popular social media platform, with a billion monthly active users. It is a bit like Twitter, with a massive audience who engage with content consistently.
The main difference between the two is that users can post short-form videos about any topic they choose, including brand or product awareness campaigns, funny anecdotes, and more. This often means that the content is highly visual, and thus easier for people to consume on their phones.
This is why marketers should not discount the power of visual content when planning their marketing strategies online. With a market share of nearly 25%, Instagram is the second most popular social media platform for surfing the web. This is an ideal place for marketers to post images of their products, as well as engage with users through photos.
Moreover, 42% of respondents to the Future Inc. and SurveyMonkey survey plan to get most of their shopping done online in 2025. So if you’re looking to reach this audience, Instagram and other social media platforms are excellent places to do so.
With the popularity of digital marketplaces and social media platforms, it’s a great time to be a marketer, as you can target the right audiences through multiple platforms, experiment with different strategies, and re-purpose your content for various digital goals.