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E-commerce in the United Kingdom (UK) - statistics & facts

The United Kingdom (UK) has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe. In 2022, the country is expected to have nearly 60 million e-commerce users—leaving only a minority of the population as non-digital buyers. As such, e-commerce has undeniably become the norm for shoppers everywhere in the UK, and there is an ample amount of data to support this.

Europe’s most profitable e-commerce market

With boasts of the most lucrative e-commerce market across the continent, it’s a given that the UK’s retail sector also leads the way in Europe. In retail alone, online sales constituted nearly 30 percent of overall retail sales in the country in 2021, over double the amount from exactly one decade prior. Resultant of the coronavirus pandemic, in 2020, internet retail sales grew by 47 percent, the fastest rate recorded in the previous ten years. While such steep growth was case-specific to the pandemic, the UK’s e-commerce revenue is still expected to steadily grow in the coming years across all segments.

Online retailing is particularly strong in the fashion segment, which currently does and is also expected to amass the most revenue each year by 2025. The most recent government figures also show that over one-fourth of retail sales from textile, clothing, and footwear stores come from online channels. Consumer electronics was the next highest grossing category in terms of revenue, with Amazon at the forefront of the leading online consumer electronics stores in the UK. The easiness to compare between different articles online is one of the main reasons why Britons chose e-commerce for buying consumer electronics such as smartphones.

Shopping habits in the UK

When it comes to devices, UK consumers have developed a strong preference for using theirmobile phones to make online purchases. In 2022, smartphones held the majority share of both online retail traffic and orders. Among tablets, desktops, and smartphones, tablets were used the least of the three for online shopping. Despite this m-commerce lean, consumers still tend to spend more per order when they shop on their computers. In 2021, the average order value among online purchases was still the highest on desktop devices, with UK shoppers spending an average of 125 U.S. dollars on desktops in comparison to 102 dollars on tablets and 96 dollars on mobile phones.

According to a 2021 survey, having access to product reviews was reported by 100 percent of UK consumers as an important driving factor for them to shop online, while free returns and free delivery options were attributes that were regarded as less essential. In addition to that, 96 percent considered having environmentally friendly delivery alternatives to be an important quality of online shopping. However, nearly one in three UK shoppers remained unwilling to pay a surcharge to retailers who guaranteed environmentally friendly shipping options. When it comes to sustainable retail, UK online shoppers seem to focus more on the products themselves having less or recycled packaging, rather than the delivery methods.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 34 most important statistics relating to "E-commerce in the United Kingdom (UK)".

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