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UK’s biggest online retailers see sales grow 23%

Sales of the 20 biggest online-only retailers in the United Kingdom have increased by 23 percent last year. Their revenues went from about 7.6 billion euros in 2015/2016 to over 9.4 billion euros one year later. The increase is mostly because of the rise of mobile commerce.

That’s what services firm RPC concluded after it researched the top 20 of biggest pure players in the United Kingdom. It says shoppers are really embracing the ‘anywhere, anytime’ way of shopping via their smartphones. “The ecommerce boom in the UK shows no signs of slowing down.”

Investing in automating warehousing and logistics
It’s not only mcommerce that helped driving the sales of UK’s biggest online retailers. It’s also because these online retailers are investing in automation in their warehousing and logistics. For example, online grocer Ocado, just announced it will invest about 170 million euros in warehouse robotics. “These online retailers want to become more efficient, as the competition on choice, price and customer convenience intensifies”, RPC writes.

Recent development in online retail
The service firm describes more recent developments in the online retail, such as AI-driven chat bots, AR-functionality in mobile shopping apps, ordering at online stores from smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo or Google Home, and ‘snap and shop’, which allows shoppers to search for purchases using their smartphone’s camera.

Research also shows that some bricks-and-mortar retailers are becoming increasingly reliant on their online offerings to get an increase in sales. For example, online sales of Marks & Spencer increased by 6 percent last year, while its retail operations as a whole grew just 1 percent.

“The maturing of mcommerce is helping e-retailers super-charge sales”, says Jeremy Drew, Co-Head of Retail at RPC. “Increasingly sophisticated mobile shopping platforms are making it easy for consumers to make purchases quickly and easily whenever they want, wherever they are.”