Online shopping is more popular in the UK than in any other major country. Consumers in the UK spent $233 billion online in 2018, up 18.2% on 2017.
Consumer eCommerce now accounts for over a quarter of the total retail market in the UK. People continue to look online for the best deals and prices and this is driving the proportion of money being spent online.The internet is now the natural place for shoppers to look for fashion, health and beauty, home and garden, consumer electronics and travel services.
One key trend is to physically look at or try a product in-store and then go home to buy it at a better price online or buy it via their smartphone or tablet. Click and collect is also becoming much more popular.
Since the UK market is technologically advanced, with high penetration and solvency, competition for online spend is very fierce. Given that American companies have developed an advantage thanks to their home market size and early development in the UK, British e-commerce is under the domination of US platforms operating through multiple segments, especially Amazon and eBay, who are by far the largest e-commerce players in the UK.
List of top British e-commerce platforms with estimated traffic
As of March 2019
British multinational retailer operating under a department store format in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Franchise stores in other countries.
Sell a range of clothing, household items and furniture in more than 170 stores and through its website.
Website: debenhams.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 14.2 Million visits
9. Currys PC World
Currys is a British electrical retailer operating in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland
Specialises in selling home electronics and household appliances, with 295 megastores and 73 high street shops.
Also provides an e-commerce platform to sell household and telecommunications appliances online.
Website: currys.co.uk – Estimated monthly traffic: 17.4 Million visits
8. John Lewis & Partners
Chain of British department stores operating throughout the United Kingdom and with international delivery across 37 countries.
Leading online seller of home and electrical appliances, fashion, beauty, baby, sports accessories, etc.
Over 20 departments covering fashion, homewares, technology, beauty and much more.
Website: johnlewis.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 20.3 Million visits
7. Marks & Spencer
Offers high quality fashion, award-winning food and stylish homeware. Founded more than a century ago and with 1463 stores across 57 countries,
Sells groceries, home and hygiene products as well as clothing, and financial and telecommunications services.
Website: tesco.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 25.5 Million visits
Leading retailer in the UK.
Owned by the American retail giant Walmart.
Sells groceries and various consumer, clothing and home products
Also a financial service and mobile phone provider, which are also on offer online through Asda’s e-commerce platform.
Website: asda.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 25.6 Million visits
Catalog retailer. Operating more than 800 shops in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Sells electronics, home and garden products, clothing, toys and sports equipment, and more.
Website: argos.co.uk – Estimated monthly traffic: 51.2 Million visits
Specialized online men and women fashion and cosmetics retailer.
Expanded throughout the years to multiple countries of Europe and Asia.
Leading British company in the UK e-commerce market.
Website: asos.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 54.3 Million visits
2. eBay UK
Pioneer of e-commerce
American online marketplace that allows people and businesses to sell directly through its online auction platform.
Expanded to more than 20 countries including the UK, organizing the sale of products ranging from cars and vehicles to electronics and fashion, home and garden to sports and toys, and even business and industrial products.
Website: ebay.co.uk – Estimated monthly traffic: 355.5 Million visits
1. Amazon UK
Started as an online bookstore
Diversified to products including media, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry.
Uncontested global leader of e-commerce and developed further into brick-and-mortar retail with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market, as well as publishing, electronics, cloud computing, video streaming, and production.
Website: amazon.co.uk – Estimated monthly traffic: 446.5 Million visits
Top e-commerce websites in the UK compared by estimated traffic
The estimated monthly traffic demonstrate the domination of Amazon and eBay, who stand far above the other players. The pack of followers is well established in the range of traffic volumes from 10 to 60 million visits per month.
Ecommerce customers in the United Kingdom
A study from the Ecommerce Foundation in 2019 shows that PayPal is, by far, the most popular payment. Over 40% buyers have used PayPal at least once in 2018.
Credit cards (23.7%) are also popular, followed by prepaid cards (17.2%)