Current E-Commerce Trends in the UK


March 1, 2016


It’s a great time to be an online retailer in the UK. In 2014, 44.97 Billion Pounds were spent online, which is a 15.8% growth over 2013. These numbers have been increasing every year and they show no signs of slowing down. In fact, experts are predicting an 18.7% growth in the online retail sector for Europe in 2016. Furthermore, online retailers are expanding 14.2 times faster than their brick and mortar counterparts. There are two reasons for this.

One is the increased demand for products that are bought online. Many consumers have the perception that online retailers have the best prices and the greatest selection of goods. Another reason for the boom in ecommerce is the low entry barrier. It’s significantly cheaper to set up an online retail shop versus having to pay for a physical space. While the competition is stiff online, any shop that offers customers a good deal is sure to move its products.

New Trends for Online Retailers in the UK

Ecommerce sites offering apparel and accessories are selling more products online than ever before. To differentiate your business and outsell your competitors, consider offering hard to find items. These could be sourced locally, or from a small company that hasn’t been “discovered” yet. Once consumers figure out that you’re selling products that they can’t buy from your competitors, they’ll be more likely to visit your website again in the future.

Online bridal retailers are also seeing a large increase their bottom line. Shops offering everything from dresses to custom cakes are selling more products than ever before, as more people place orders online. Finally, jewelry is also experiencing an upswing in sales. There are quite a few shops competing for customers, but if you can make the sales the profits are high.


Britain’s Massive International Popularity

Research has shown that British ecommerce retailers are the most popular destination for online shoppers from Germany. In addition, British retailers are the second most popular shopping destination for shoppers from China and the United states. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that Chinese and German shoppers spend more at British shops than the British population does.

These sales are a great reason to make sure that your site is easily accessible to overseas shoppers. While you don’t necessarily have to make your entire website available in a different language, some shops feel that it’s worth the investment because of the large orders from international customers.

What Consumers are Demanding from Online Retailers

More than half of consumers in the UK report that they can’t find the information they want on any given retail website. Of those, 42% said that when they encounter this problem, they are going to seek out a competitor and buy from them. If your website falls into this category, that’s many potential sales you are losing out on. In this same survey, just 17% of people said that they would take the time to call the company for information. One in five odds shouldn’t be something that any retailer gets excited about.

To keep your customers happy, ensure that your website is streamlined and easy to use. Make sure that you have a FAQ section with as many questions and answers as possible. In particular, you should focus on shipping times and costs. The UK online retailer Surfdome does a very good job with this. They have a thorough FAQ section, a large list of customer service questions, and they provide shipping rates and a timetable to every country that they ship to. Other ecommerce sites would do well to copy their example.

With the growth in online shopping there has never been a better time to be selling a product online. You can take advantage of this by opening your own ecommerce site today. Follow some basic guidelines of website design, sell products in a popular niche, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.


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