Preliminary results of business survey on the use of online platforms to advertise or sell products

As part of the ongoing task to ensure continuous monitoring of the online platform economy, the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy conducted a survey with businesses from Belgium, Czechia, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and Sweden. It gathered businesses’ views and experiences on their use of online platforms to sell and/or advertise their products and services. The results make reference to 2021.

The main topics covered by the survey are multi-homing, online sales, advertising, and problems encountered when using online platforms, amongst other topics.

The survey found that over 50% of businesses believe that their success relies on their presence on social media, in particular online travel agencies, online application stores and cloud services.  Accordingly, and compared to other types of businesses, companies using online travel agencies spend the most on advertising on a yearly basis (19% of their revenue), followed by e-commerce marketplaces (18%), while businesses using collaborative economy platforms spend merely 8% of their yearly revenue on advertising.  

Moreover, most companies tend to be present in more than one online platform, with only 15% of the surveyed businesses using only one platform to sell or advertise goods and services. Reaching clients easily regardless their limited presence on online platforms (38%) and unavailability of equivalent platforms (30%) are the most stated reasons for these businesses to use only one platform.

Lastly, only 15% of the surveyed businesses claimed to have had complaints about or disputes/conflicts with online platforms in 2021. Looking at the data by platform type used, results show that businesses using online travel agencies claim to have had issues more often (34%) than businesses using other platform types. This is followed by businesses using e-commerce platforms (25%) and collaborative economy platforms (21%).   

The full results of the business survey will be published in the coming weeks.

Preliminary results of business survey on the use of online platforms to advertise or sell products