Report: U.K. Pure Plays Will Outsell Omnichannel Merchants This Year

Aug. 3, 2015

Report: U.K. Pureplays Will Outsell Omnichannel Merchants This Year This year, for the first time, online pure plays in the U.K. will outsell e-commerce sites that are part of companies with physical locations, according to a new report from market research firm Mintel. The company said store-based retailers will account for £21.5 billion ($33.6 billion) in revenue in 2015 while retail sales by e-commerce pure plays will surge to £21.8 billion ($34 billion). By 2020, store-based retailers will account for 48 percent of online sales in the U.K., down from 51 percent last year. Despite the gains, however, the ability to leverage a network of physical locations should be an advantage in giving consumers all the options they say they want, said Richard Perks, director of Retail Research for Mintel.

“For online pure plays the challenge will be to provide the levels of service that store-based retailers are able to offer,” Perks said. “We are starting to see some of them open physical outlets but this is likely to increase their costs and further erode the price difference between in-store and online. It could also play into the hands of store-based retailers which already have the multichannel experience to effectively edit an online range for displaying in-store. For store based retailers the distinction between selling online and in-store is becoming increasingly academic as shoppers use them interchangeably. The key for retailers in the future will be to offer as good a service as possible through whichever channel customers want to use at the time.”