UK Online Sales: 2017 Results


Results are in for 2017 and UK online consumer sales grew by 12.1% to £149bn. In January 2018 internet sales accounted for 16.5% of total retail sales in the UK. 82% of us have made a purchase in the last 12 months (95% of UK homes have internet access).

Weekly internet sales hit £1,175 million in January 2018 up from £775 million in January 2017!

Most Popular Goods Purchased Online in 2017

Most popular online purchases: clothes & sport goods

According to Mintel 81% of Millennials (aged 18-37) have bought a fashion item online in the last 12 months. This rises to an astonishing 85% for 16-24 year old females. Almost half (48%) have made a purchase from a smartphone, highlighting the ever increasing importance of mobile ecommerce.

Sales in clothes & sport goods has seen year on year growth of 17.7% but 50% of purchasers have returned an item in the last 12 months. This shows the importance of product packaging and delivery options.

The main reasons cited for consumers not buying online are:

  • 69% prefer to shop in person
  • 25% online security fears
  • 19% lack online skills
  • 16% concerns about receiving & returning goods

16% of people who don't purchase online are concerned about receiving & returning goods

Online fashion shoppers are interested in further improving delivery options and an increasing number of online retailers are offering free returns.

The Continued Growth of Online Retail

Unsurprisingly online sales are expected to continue in 2018, although predictions are the lowest ever with only a 9% growth rate estimated for 2018 according to the Office of National Statistics.

With online retailers continued focus on m-commerce, packaging and delivery, especially last mile delivery, hopefully a 9% growth rate in 2018 will be easily achieved.

Sources: provides analysis, marketing lists & contact data on 15,000+ UK businesses selling online & Amazon UK marketplace sellers.

UK Online Stores monitors businesses selling on European Marketplaces & ecommerce websites. With over 25 key metrics and contact details available we are the leading supplier of Marketplace seller information, providing business intelligent data to the ecommerce sector.

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