Many independent retailers take for granted the power of e-commerce and how fundamental it is to have an online presence as a small business. The rise of e-commerce in the UK has allowed small businesses around the country to expand their customer reach beyond their local area.
<p style="text-align:center;"> <img title="Infographic on the Rise of E-Commerce in the UK" src="https://www.ashburnham-insurance.co.uk/wordpress/media/rise-of-ecommerce-uk-infographic.png" alt="Infographic on the Rise of E-Commerce in the UK" /> Infographic by <a title="Ashburnham Insurance Services" href="https://www.ashburnham-insurance.co.uk">Ashburnham Insurance</a></p>
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So let’s take a look at the e-commerce statistics for the UK…
The UK has been on the frontline of the e-commerce growth, making up one-third of all online sales in Europe in 2015. According to statistics by the Office of National Statistics, UK retailers have been leading the way in e-commerce as the top EU territory. By investing early in optimisation and IT specialists, retailers have made online shopping a comfortably simple process for UK consumers to adopt. In 2014, 79% of people in the UK ordered goods online. This is the highest percentage of individuals in the EU. In comparison, only 10% of Romania ordered online in 2014 and 22% of Italy.
According to a study carried out by RetailMeNot in conjunction with the Centre for Retail Research, Britons are expected to spend £60 billion online in 2016. That’s an average of £1372 per person during the year. “Multi-channel” shoppers (those who shop using both a mobile or tablet device and a laptop or desktop PC) are predicted to spend nearly double the amount of PC-only shoppers in 2016, with an expected spend of £1962 in comparison to £1014 for those who only shop using a PC. PC transactions online average at £57.53, but occur less frequently throughout the year, which indicates that consumers feel more comfortable with completing larger transactions from a desktop or laptop computer than they do on a mobile device. For tablets, the average transaction is £51.71, and the figure for smartphones is £47.01.
This coincides with Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly’s report that states that in Great Britain traditional computers (desktop and laptop PCs) still boast the highest average conversion rate at 3.69%, followed by tablet with 2.84% and smartphone with 1.31%. But it should be noted that the smartphone and tablet conversion rate is rising each year.
Contrary to RetailMeNot’s research, eMarketer reported that Britons are predicted to spend £67 billion in 2016 – that’s over 15% of total retail sales. Mobile e-commerce (or “mcommerce”) is to account for 37% of e-commerce sales, with 65% attributed to tablet and 35% attributed to mobile devices.
Google anticipate that the growth in mobile internet use will continue until 2021, so e-commerce in the UK is nowhere near its peak as more and more people embrace online retail. Not forgetting those who have grown up fully immersed in the online world reaching the age where they are beginning to make more and more purchases as an adult. So it comes as no surprise that online retailing will continue to rise alongside mobile internet use at a rate of at least 16%.
As a result of the growth of e-commerce, retailers should invest in improving the multichannel shopping experience for their customers. Those who don’t will run the risk of falling behind their competitors who have optimised their customer experience across all devices.
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