The Rise Of The E-Commerce Channel

ECommerce is now the fastest growing channel in the UK, with influencing factors like Covid-19 lockdowns, increased percentage of work-from-home employees and the ease of usage.

Why are consumers shopping online?

Consumer behaviour has changed phenomenally since precovid, with consumers now choosing to purchase products like groceries, health and hygiene and home essentials now online versus in-store.

This shift in consumer behaviour comes from the consumers desire for not only immediacy but also convenience in their shopping. As well as this, often shopping online means for cheaper products with exclusive online discounts usually active.

Rise in digital wallets:

Another rise we’ve seen in recent years is the increase of digital wallets as primary payment method for consumers. The introduction and popularity of ‘Apple Pay’ reinforces the convenience factor for not only online shopping but also in-store, with consumers being able to pay with a tap of their phone or even smart watch. Amazon’s prime payment system replicates this, with prime members simply having to swipe to complete a purchase when they’ve previously entered payment details.

How are retailers reacting?

As a result, it’s more important than ever for retailers to make their online shopping experience the best it can be for consumers, from an easy to navigate website, to fast delivery options, to simple and quick checkout processes through saving payment information and more.

Let’s take a look at 3 of the top retailers currently thriving in eCommerce:


Tesco has the biggest shopper reach of any UK retailer with over 40% of online shoppers using Tesco online (Source: Homescan). The supermarket giant receives over 1.2m online grocery orders every single week. Also, with their click and collect service available in over 400 stores, this accounts for 20% of their online sales.


90% of Argos’ sales (General Merchandise) originate online with click and collect points inside c. 500 Sainsbury stores. Argos is a Competitive advantage that helps Grocery store spend, as customers collect their orders from Argos they consequently then shop in the Sainsbury store.


The eCommerce giant itself, with a 90% penetration amongst UK shoppers (Source: Mintel). Amazon are also the leaders in the ease of eCommerce, with their affordable next-day delivery options. Over 15m (or 25%) of UK adults are signed up to Amazon’s loyalty scheme Prime.

Whilst the dramatic rise in ecommerce was a result of Covid-19, the consumer behaviour is here to stay. This learnt behaviour means ecommerce continues to thrive, as long as retailers keep the consumer experience at a high quality.

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