Online channel is forecast to account for 15.8% of total retail spend in 2017, rising to 18.5% by 2022. Clothing & footwear is driving much of this growth, with online spend in this sector rising £7.2bn to 2022, thanks to retailers’ continued investment in the online shopping experience, their strategic focus on mobile and improvements to delivery propositions - largely due to online pure plays like ASOS which are paving the way for multichannel retailers.
Only 34.0% of online shoppers have bought homewares online and just 22.5% of online shoppers have bought furniture & floorcoverings online, demonstrating the importance of the offline channel within these sectors. Homewares and furniture & floorcoverings retailers must offer more competitive delivery and returns options to give shoppers the confidence to buy online and return products should they not wish to keep them.
Online shoppers have a high penetration for social media usage, with 80.1% of mobile shoppers using Facebook. As a result social media platforms offer retailers a prime opportunity to influence online shoppers. For example, 35.0% of mobile shoppers stated they had visited a retailer's store or website to browse products seen on Instagram. Retailers operating in sectors with low online penetration, like homewares or furniture & floorcoverings, should capitalise on the rise of social media celebrities and send them products to trial and feature in blog or social media posts, to drive awareness and ultimately spend.
Consumers are increasingly shopping online to access a wider range of products available. In 2017, 17.2% of consumers stated they shopped online because the product was not available elsewhere, up 1.6 ppts on last year. This shift in sentiment is driven by online pureplays such as ASOS which offer a broad assortment, a part of which is from brands that sell exclusively online. The retailer sells some brands that have no or very limited UK physical presence, allowing consumers across the UK to purchase these products, meeting demand for a broader choice online and affording ASOS a competitive advantage.
The report E-retail in the UK - 2017 offers comprehensive insight and analysis of the online channel in the UK, the main trends and hot issues, major players and consumer shopping behavior.
In depth, this report provides the following analysis -
The hot issues
What people buy
The shopper journey
Where people shop
Companies mentioned in this report: Amazon, Waterstones, Wh Smith, The Book People, The Works, Book Depository, Wordery, Tesco, Asda, Abebooks.co.uk, iBooks, iTunes, Google Play, Marks & Spencer, Next, ASOS, New Look, Debenhams, Sports Direct, H&M, very.co.uk, boohoo.com, Missguided, B&Q, Screwfix, Wilko, Homebase/Bunnings, Wickes, Thompson-morgan.com, IKEA, John Lewis, Argos, Currys PC World, AO.com, Apple, Game,Boots, Sainsbury's, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Waitrose, Milk and more, Holland & Barrett, Tesco Wine, Aldi, Moonpig, Thorntons, Graze, Hotel Chocolat, Home bargins, DFS, Dunelm, House of Fraser, The Range, Superdrug, The Body Shop, Lush, Avon, HMV, Shop Direct, Dixons Carphone, PlayStation Network, Steam, Xbox.
Sales via smartphone are a key area of growth for the online channel over the next five years, with spend via mobile set to grow 112.0%, overtaking tablet sales in 2018. Mobile growth is predominantly driven by food & grocery and clothing & footwear sectors, with the latter category aided by the ‘see now, buy now’ mentality of consumers frequently browsing social media. Retailers should prioritise investment in mobile platforms and apps to capitalise on the forecast growth in mobile spend.
Due to its fast online growth, clothing & footwear will further dominate the online returns market, with the category forecast to account for almost 70% of all online returns by 2022. Clothing & footwear retailers must enhance the way products are displayed online to curtail the anticipated rise in returns, using by video content, higher image quality and styled model images.
Consumers are increasingly shopping online in order to access a wider of products. This year 17.2% of consumers stated they shopped online because a product was not available elsewhere, which was up 1.6 ppts on last year. This is driven by successful online pureplays ASOS and Amazon, the latter using its Marketplace and Handmade platform to supply customers with a huge assortment, with many items unavailable in UK physical stores. Multichannel players should use their online platforms to showcase an extended collection, enabling them to trial ranges, with a view to allocate store space if online sales warrant this.
Reasons to buy
Utilise our five year forecasts to 2022 for the online channel, and sector penetration to help form an effective growth strategy.
Review our analysis on hot issues and understand the factors driving the market.
Identify the key players in the online channel using our in-depth analysis of how and why certain sectors are performing well in the market to gain strategic insight.
Understand the journey of consumers throughout the process of purchasing online.
Recognise which consumers are shopping online and utilise analysis of shoppers’ motivations to enable a better understanding of the online channel moving forward.