Ecommerce in The United Kingdom

Information about ecommerce in the United KingdomThe United Kingdom is one of the leading countries in the western world. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO, the UK is an influential country with an important economy. It’s an active member of the European Union, but it chose to remain outside of the Economic and Monetary Union and therefore keep its pounds and pennies. In 2016, The Brits have voted for Brexit, which means the United Kingdom will withdraw from the European Union.

Population 63.7 million people
– % internet users 82%
Online sales €157 billion (2015)
Online stores worth mentioning: Tesco, Asos, Argos


Ecommerce customers in the United Kingdom

In the UK credit cards are the most popular payment method for purchased made online. Almost forty percent of all online transactions in the UK are paid by credit card. More than 3 in 10 online transactions take place thanks to debit cards. Another popular online payment method in the UK is PayPal, which together with credit and debit cards represent 96% of all online payments.

Online payment methods in the UK, according to Payvision
Online payment methods in the UK, according to Payvision.

Fashion and sporting goods are a very popular product category in the United Kingdom, followed by travel and household items. Other popular product categories are movies & music and books & magazines.

According to an article in the Daily Mail 82% of British internet users regularly shop online, which is the highest of the 28 EU member states. It’s estimated 70% of UK consumers now owns a smartphone. In the last quarter of 2013, one in three online sales in the UK took place via mobile devices.

The ecommerce market in the United Kingdom

According to data from the Centre for Retail Search, online sales in the United Kingdom accounted for 10.7% of total retail sales in 2014. It was worth 110.5 billion euros in 2013 according to IMRG/Capgemini. Newer data, from the Ecommerce Foundation, shows that ecommerce in the UK was worth 157 billion euros in 2015.

Ecommerce growth in the UK

Big online stores in the United Kingdom

The biggest players in the UK’s online retail market are Amazon (16 percent market share), followed by Tesco (9%) and eBay (8%). Other big online retailers are Asos, Argos,, Next and John Lewis.

Latest news about The United Kingdom

Matches Fashion introduces 90-minute delivery service in London

Luxury fashion retailer Matches Fashion has introduced a 90-minute delivery service across London. Customers who live within the M25, the road that encircles almost all of Greater London, can place an order at 6.30 AM and have their order delivered to their homes at 8AM already. The service will launch Continue reading

Online delicatessen Gourmondo expands in Europe

Gourmondo, a German online distributor of unusual foods, is expanding in Europe. After launching in Germany and the Netherlands, the ecommerce website is now also available in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Austria. Consumers from these countries can now also buy wines and specialty foods online.

AO grows 66.9 percent in Europe

Online electrical retailer AO saw its revenue increase by 22.9 percent to 378 million euros during the period April to September this year. Ecommerce sales in the UK grew 20.8 percent, while revenue in Europe increased by 66.9 percent during that same period.

Spring launches international returns solution

Spring Global Delivery Solutions has launched International Returns solution. This is a new service, which gives retailers several return solutions supported by an international network. Spring’s customers can make use of a customizable platform and additional services, while offering their consumers worldwide returns.

UK competition regulator warns online retailers against price fixing

The Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom has found evidence online retailers are colluding on online marketplaces such as Amazon. It had warned several ecommerce companies against price fixing. Consumers were offered bad deals due to retailers discussing prices with competitors or agreeing not to undercut them.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in the United Kingdom.

Last update: September 2016