Posted onNovember 23, 2016
The UK economy appears to be on firmer footing, with growth strong enough to spur expectations of an interest rate increase. Driving growth is consumer spending, which has helped the economy to its best sustained performance since 2007. Indeed, in recent months retail sales registered their healthiest gains in a decade, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – UK.
General economic data provides a positive outlook for ecommerce growth in the UK. the retail ecommerce sales will increase 16.0% this year, helped along not only by an accelerating economy but also by UK shoppers’ increasing use of mobile devices for making purchases and by expanded options for ecommerce, such as the ability to purchase online and pick up in-store or at some other location.
As a percentage of total retail sales, ecommerce continues to grow. It will reach 13.0% in 2014 and rise steadily for the remainder of our forecast. We estimate that by 2018 ecommerce will represent more than 17% of UK retail sales.
There will be 41.4 million digital shoppers (those who look for or research purchases online, but don’t necessarily complete a transaction) in 2014, making up fully 93.0% of UK internet users ages 14 and over. That total has not changed much in recent years, as it already represents a large percentage of the adult population. Digital buyers, meanwhile, will total 39.2 million this year, or 88.0% of UK internet users ages 14 and older.
Recent growth in digital shoppers and buyers has come largely from the older population that was slow to adopt digital commerce. These newer digital shoppers are unlikely to be aggressive purchasers or large-ticket buyers. Instead, the strong growth of UK retail ecommerce sales is coming mainly from existing digital shoppers, who make purchases more frequently, are often more open to higher ticket purchases and, perhaps most importantly, are adding mobile commerce to their digital lifestyle
Mobile continues to be a major driver of overall UK retail ecommerce growth. Indeed, for this updated forecast we have retroactively increased our 2013 estimate for retail mcommerce as a percentage of UK retail ecommerce to 19.0% from 18.0%, and we have increased its projected share for this year and out-years as well.
Mobile commerce is essentially two related but distinct phenomena: smartphone-based buying and tablet-based buying.