Why is the United Kingdom a top marketplace and an ecommerce success story?

What has made the UK the leader in Europe with 4 of the top 10 e-commerce sites by sales volume? What is the UK marketplace like? What are the bestsellers among British online buyers? How about shipping, consumer expectations, buying behaviour and trends and forecasts for the future? Read more about the online marketplace in the UK and find out about its unique characteristics.

Can the British weather be one of the main factors motivating local buyers to do their shopping online from the comfort of their sofas? After all, this seems a much more attractive option as opposed to having to do your shopping spree dashing through high streets on rainy days. So yes …

UK ecommerce marketplace 283x300

… it may often rain on British high street retail, but the success of the UK eCommerce market is due to other factors than the weather.

Interested in checking YOUR international sales potential on top marketplaces? Book a FREE consultation with our eCommerce expert!

FREE demo

What is the UK marketplace like?

The UK is the hub of internet shoppers. Even though it is a smaller consumer market than the US, China or Japan, shoppers spend more money per capita online than in other countries. According to eMarketer,

B2C eCommerce sales in the UK were almost three times higher than in the second largest Western European market, Germany.

In short, the UK marketplace is competitive, customer-oriented and has huge buying power.The UK boasts excellent digital infrastructure, high population density and percentage of online GDP.

Factors behind the UK’s eCommerce success

  • The English language
  • Location
  • Lower Shipping Costs
  • Use of credit & debit cards
  • Smartphones
  • Infrastructure & Logistics
  • Competitive & customer-oriented market
  • Customer-friendly returns policy
  • Easy technology adoption

Find out more about all the factors named above in our all-inclusive guidebook!

Online sales: basic facts

  • 54% of UK retailers are of the opinion that Amazon provides the best opportunity to sell on international marketplaces.
  • 65% of UK sellers said that between 21%-30% of their online sales come from international marketplaces.


The items that proved to be extremely popular on eBay:

  • consumer tech from big brands
  • fashion items
  • accessories
  • vintage products

Webinterpret has also carried out research on the best-selling categories among British sellers selling internationally. Check our eCommerce guidebook for more information!

Shipping: what do UK consumers expect from delivery?

  • Proactive & efficient communication (text/phone/email updates), especially when delivery issues occur. Generally UK customers don’t want to make too much effort to stay updated about the delivery status
  • Non-premium rate phone numbers to contact the courier

Buying behaviour: Present & Future

How are products ordered?

  • 52% from computers
  • 24% from tablets
  • 24% from phones

UK traffic by device 300x180

Source: Demandware 

Find out more!

For more information on top marketplaces (the UK, the USA, Germany, France and Italy), including local buyer behaviour, trends, forecasts and international sales facts, check our all-inclusive guidebook.


Other sources

Related Posts: