One fifth of UK retail spend ‘to be online by 2024’
Written by Peter Walker
As shoppers continue to shift away from visiting physical stores and towards digital channels, UK online spend is set to reach £75 billion by 2024, rising 30.4 per cent over the next five years.
This is according to GlobalData, whose latest report suggested that the online channel will account for 19.8 per cent of UK retail spend by 2024, with clothing and footwear remaining the largest product sector.
Sofie Willmott, lead retail analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Clothing specialists continue to develop their online proposition with many players now offering easy to use credit options like Clearpay and Klarna’s buy now, pay later, driving online conversion and giving shoppers another reason to choose the online channel over stores.
“Often first to market with tech developments, ASOS last week launched its ‘See my fit’ augmented reality tool which enables browsers to view selected items of clothing on different size models to help with purchase decisions and potentially reduce return rates.”
Despite the online channel making up only a small proportion of the food and grocery market (7.3 per cent in 2019), this sector will be the biggest contributor in terms of online value growth over the next five years, rising £5 billion to reach £16.2 billion, making it the second largest product category.
Although just over one third of UK online shoppers have purchased food and grocery online in the past 12 months - compared to almost two thirds that have bought clothing and footwear online - food spend is set to rise sharply as shoppers seek convenience, become more comfortable buying a wider range of items and grocers improve fulfilment times.
Willmott concluded: “As growth in physical store sales continues to elude many retailers, particularly in non-food product sectors, investment should be focused online to ensure websites and fulfilment options are constantly improved, in order to remain competitive.”