UK online retail is the number one market in Europe!

February 8, 2022 by
Frank Calviño
Photo by João Barbosa on Unsplash

The UK is one of the world’s leading e-commerce nations, particularly in groceries, where it was an early mover compared to, for example, the Nordic countries. E-commerce consumers are both domestic and foreign, which contributes to the country’s strength in the market.  Internet penetration is 98%, making the UK one of the top EU countries for internet usage. In  March 2021, e-commerce accounted for around 34% of all retail sales. 

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The United Kingdom has been under a series of lockdowns during the pandemic. The lack of open physical stores led Britons to turn to e-commerce. As much as 40% of consumers state they have shopped more online because of the pandemic, and this is in a country that already does a relatively large amount of online shopping. 

In the UK, there are a number of big players in the domestic market, but Brexit has made things slightly more difficult for the online retail giants. In the past marketplace, sellers have been able to ship their goods to a warehouse in the UK for onward transport to the rest of the  EU. Instead, many companies are opening central warehouses in other European countries. 

E-commerce is growing rapidly in virtually all European countries. The latest studies on e-commerce development conducted by Direct Link show that in 2020, there was a growth of over  40% in several markets. This historic rate of growth was, of course, driven largely by the pandemic.  

Germany and the UK have consolidated their positions as the strongest e-commerce nations in Europe. The survey shows that 62 million consumers in Germany shopped online in the last year, while the corresponding figure for the UK is 49 million. E-commerce using cell phones has gone from being essentially a niche activity for several years, with large differences between countries, to common practice today. The study shows that more than 70% of consumers in all surveyed countries had shopped online using a cell phone or tablet. 

Take a look at other factors that have recently shaped UK's e-commerce landscape or find valuable insights on your e-commerce markets in the latest Direct Link´s E-Commerce Report. Gain deeper knowledge and valuable information on cross-border shipping! If you’re looking for a logistic partner to take care of your cross-border deliveries, Direct Link is the answer. Contact to get a quotation for your business. 

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