Global e-commerce markets: The United Kingdom
Internet shopping is more popular in the UK than in any other major country. Consumer eCommerce now accounts for over 36% of the total retail market in the UK (up from 20% in 2019) with over $3 billion spent weekly in the UK internet retail market.This boost has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key digital figures for the UK in 2021 indicate:
· Population: 68.05M
· Mobile phone connections: 67.61M
· Internet users: 65.32M
· Active social media users: 53M
The growth of online retailing is driving a relentless pursuit of value for money. People continue to look online for the best deals and prices and this is driving the proportion of money being spent online, which has increased for the second year in a row. The internet is now the natural place for shoppers to look for fashion, health and beauty, home and garden, consumer electronics and travel services.
One key trend is to physically look at or try a product in-store and then go home to buy it at a better price online or buy it via their smartphone or tablet. Click and collect is also becoming much more popular.With the continuing rise of social networking and mobile internet access, social media marketing is a key channel in which firms are most likely to be boosting their investment in e-commerce in the next couple of years.The strength of online sales contrasts with the gloom in bricks-and-mortar retailing, with physical stores falling into administration or bankruptcy.
The top eCommerce sites in the UK are:
1. Amazon - eCommerce, estimated monthly traffic: 437 Million visits
2. ebay - eCommerce, estimated monthly traffic: 328 Million visits
3. Argos - most categories excl. groceries, estimated monthly traffic: 60.5 Million visits
4. Tesco - groceries, homeware, clothing, estimated monthly traffic: 39.3 Million visits
5. Next - clothing, estimated monthly traffic: 37.1 Million visits
6. Asda - groceries, homeware, clothing, estimated monthly traffic: 33.7 Million visits
7. Marks & Spencer - groceries, homeware, clothing, estimated monthly traffic: 32.6 Million visits
8. B&Q – DIY and home improvement, estimated monthly traffic: 31.8 Million visits
9. Screwfix - tools and accessories, estimated monthly traffic: 31.5 Million visits
10. Currys - electricals, estimated monthly traffic: 31.4 Million visits
Almost all UK-based online businesses allow customers to use credit or debit cards. Visa and MasterCard are almost universally accepted, while American Express, Diners Club and JCB, less so. Many websites use Pay Pal or other similar services. UK consumers are becoming much more aware of the issue of online identity theft and will generally only conduct financial transactions on secure websites. Ecommerce purchases made via smartphone have overtaken those made via tablets with online sales made via smartphone representing over 60% of all ecommerce sales.