March 6, 2018
Mobile is driving e-commerce to ever-greater heights in the U.K., where sales at the top 20 online-only retailers surged 23 percent last year, according to a new report. London-based consultancy RPC said the total revenue generated between 2016 and 2017 by the top online pure plays in the U.K. reached £8.4 billion ($11.7 billion) compared to £6.8 billion ($9.4 billion) the year before. AI-driven chatbots on m-commerce platforms, augmented reality functionality and voice shopping over digital home assistants that synch with mobile apps are all new developments that are supercharging e-commerce sales for these retailers.
“Increasingly sophisticated mobile shopping platforms are making it easy for consumers to make purchases quickly and easily whenever they want, wherever they are,” said Jeremy Drew, co-head of retail at RPC. “From being virtually unknown five or ten years ago, many online-only retailers are building strong brands and grabbing more and more market share. Innovative business models and rapidly evolving new technologies such as robotics and AI are enabling e-tailers to be increasingly agile and responsive to customers, while still keeping prices down. Now we are seeing more bricks-and-mortar retailers investing heavily in their online offerings too, in an attempt to catch up.”
The report said the U.K. market can expect consolidation as traditionally physical retailers seek to augment their online offerings by snapping up some of the online-only players that are using technology to quickly increase e-commerce sales.