September 25 ,2014 | by Hari Srinivasan

UK e-commerce surge imminent, claims Barclays report

UK e-commerce surge imminent

Report released by Barclays claims that a huge rise in e-commerce over the next few years is expected in the UK.

E-commerce is already a growing and promising sector of the economy in the UK, but it seems there are even better times to come for online retailers. According to a new report from Barclays, there’s a boom coming in the e-commerce sector.


The UK will see shopping deliveries rise by 29 per cent by 2018, the bank predicts, taking the total to more than 1.35 billion shopping deliveries from the one billion that were made last year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it will be relatively remote areas where growth will be fastest – for example, East Anglia is expected to report the largest jump in deliveries over the next four years.

A fifth of this will come from clothing and footwear, which will account for a higher proportion of deliveries than any other category. In four years’ time, deliveries of these products are expected to have shot up by as much as 51 per cent.

Electricals will see the biggest increase even though it remains one of the smaller categories. It is only expected to account for 105 million deliveries by 2018, but that will still be 61 per cent more than in 2013.

Music and film are also expected to grow as part of the e-commerce sector, with a projected 54 per cent increase in deliveries. However, digital downloads are actually expected to fall rapidly by as much as 39 per cent, as subscription services grow in popularity.


Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, says that the rise of mobile technology is forcing retailers to adapt to handle the growth in e-commerce.

“Driven by the increasing use of tablet and mobile devices, almost seven in ten consumers say they are looking for more innovative and rapid delivery options such as Sunday delivery,” he explains.

“Although they seek more flexibility in delivery options, consumers are still very conscious of keeping prices low with cost influencing consumer preferences more than any other factor including quality of service.”

However, he adds that retailers need to prepare for this continued expansion by rethinking their online strategies, and investing in improvements to their online fulfilment process, before they can really make the most of the potential e-commerce affords.

Hari Srinivasan

Hari is the LSBF Blog's News Editor. He manages the editorial content on the blog and writes about current affairs, SME, entrepreneurship, energy, education and emerging market news.

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