Expanding your brand across borders internationally can feel like a daunting task. As much as you want to grow your business, breaking into an unknown market (such as the UK eCommerce market) can be challenging. Though many have low hopes for the UK economy in a post-Brexit world with a looming recession – new data helps confirm positive outlooks in key retail sectors.
Unfortunately, we currently have an energy crisis, increasing inflation, trade disruptions and political instability. However, eCommerce is stronger than ever, with the UK being the third largest eCommerce market in the world – next to China and the states. Uk customers are more involved than ever in online shopping. In this key growth period for online brands in the UK, is it time for your brand to expand there as well?
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UK eCommerce market
The UK eCommerce market is growing at a rapid rate, and by the end of 2022, it is predicted to surpass £200 billion. The growth of the UK eCommerce market is due to a number of factors, including increased consumer confidence and the rise in loyalty programmes. It’s important to know how these factors influence the UK market, which sectors are experiencing growth, and what this means for consumers looking for online products.
The UK has the highest eCommerce growth rate amongst European countries. It is home to some of the biggest and most successful online retailers, including ASOS and John Lewis.
On top of this, it’s worth bearing in mind that 40% of all purchases on Amazon are made through mobile devices. This means that you need a responsive website if you want your business to thrive on these digital channels.
With a spike in working from home, more people are shopping on social media platforms – which is good luck for brands. Social media has more purchasers now that do it directly through a channel’s app. This is helping to fuel further UK eCommerce growth. Shopify stores are growing more with independent sellers vs Amazon as more exciting products hit the market every day.
Popular UK eCommerce sectors
Online shopping is a growing trend that’s here to stay. If you’re an online business owner or marketer, the most important thing you can do is start looking for growth opportunities. You might be surprised by some of the answers we found here at Selazar. In our research into the top eCommerce sectors nationwide, we uncovered some interesting facts about what people are buying and how they buy it.
Social commerce, personalisation, and augmented reality make building trust with customers easier. Unique marketing and positioning allow brands to thrive today on various online platforms. With increased online shopping activity from the pandemic, omnichannel shopping experiences are boosting convenience and reducing costs for customers.
Thanks to the agility and low prices of online marketplaces today, UK customers are enjoying a period of online buying with multiple options.
5 popular UK eCommerce sectors are:
Sales growth: 2021 actual: 29.1%, 2022 forecast: 3.4%
Sales growth: 2021 actual: 2.1% forecast: -4.1%
3. Home, furniture, and flooring
Sales growth: 2021 actual: 15.6%, 2022 forecast: 2.8 %
4. DIY & gardening
Sales growth: 2021 actual: 13.7%, 2022 forecast: .4%
5. Health & Beauty
Sales growth: 2021 actual: 9.7%, 2022 forecast: 7.8%
Non-traditional sectors such as garden furniture are seeing unique growth – with a rise in sales of £1 billion over the past five years. This doesn’t just mean people are spending more on their outdoor spaces but also that they’re buying more products online – not just chairs and tables but also plants and other items that can be delivered quickly and conveniently. But this isn’t unique to gardening – the same trend could be seen across many sectors.
Targeting UK eCommerce customers
To identify the eCommerce market in the UK, you want to explore those aspects that make British consumers unique. You want to devise a plan to profile the typical buying habits so you can highlight key areas for opportunities.
The UK population is approximately 70 million people in 2022. Internet penetration in the UK is 95.53% and is expected to reach 97.5% by 2025. Mobile internet user penetration is similarly high at 90.3% – and it is expected to reach 93.59% by 2025. By targeting your key demographic in the sectors listed above, you, too, can compete in an entirely new growing space. It requires a deep understanding of target marketing for your customer profile – including age, gender, and interests.
Referring to the above statistics for popular UK eCommerce sectors, it’s perfectly clear that UK customers have a vast array of interests – which is where your online brand can potentially capitalise, differentiate, and innovate.
Now that online shopping is the new normal – much of it thanks to Covid, shoppers are more eager than ever to explore new and exciting products. 87% of people in Great Britain alone made purchases online. Where you can provide new value with unique products from your non-UK brand – this presents a real growth opportunity.
With customers becoming more demanding, loyalty programmes will become a key feature of eCommerce in the UK. Customers will expect to be rewarded for their loyalty, and companies must ensure that they give them the right incentives. This means that rewards will have to be more generous than those currently offered. Also, brands should think about how they can reward customers based on their online behaviour rather than just their spending habits or past purchases – as this will help them engage with consumers who are already active online shoppers.
Get a reputable 3pl fulfilment partner
If you’re a company looking to expand into the UK market, you need boots on the ground you can trust. You need a service that can house and manage your stock and deliver it to local customers when they buy from your online store. They offer many services if you’ve never worked with third-party logistics (3PL).
Third-party logistics companies house and manage your stock for you in the area you’d like to sell. Because customers prefer quicker delivery times, it’s important they receive your products as quickly as possible – so you can remain competitive while creating loyal customers.
3PLs package your items as soon as they are sold on your online store. Warehouse personnel pick them from their shelf location and place them in their proper box. Brand-focused sellers also offer custom packaging with custom inserts and more.
3PLs develop a strong local network with courier partners to deliver packages quickly and efficiently. Companies like Selazar offer same-day dispatch – whereas courier partners drive to our warehouses and pick up sold stock for your customers.
Scale your eCommerce brand into the UK
The UK eCommerce market will be worth over £200 billion by 2023. The online retail sector is one of the most important for any economy, and as people’s lives become more digital, it is important that you consider how your brand can adapt to this change and benefit from it. The UK is a great place to expand your business because it is one of the largest markets for eCommerce. The opportunities are endless if you want to reach consumers here. So, get creative, think outside the box and let’s see how far your ideas can take you! Should you want to use our UK 3pl services, contact us today so we can help you expand your eCommerce goals in the UK.