Consumer buying behaviours in the UK have changed forever. Even before the pandemic we were seeing the closure of high street names that seemed invincible a decade ago. The pandemic pushed others over the edge.
But it’s not all doom and gloom!
Many retailers have taken their shops online. They now have a wider reach and are flourishing. Others, of course, have been unable to develop an eCommerce line, perhaps because of the product range, cost or lack of knowledge and apprehension about what might seem to be an overwhelming shift in strategy.
Done properly, the cost of developing an eCommerce business can reap a substantial return on investment.
What are the projections for eCommerce in the UK?
eCommerce is expected to continue to grow in 2021 and beyond as more retailers take their shops online and new eCommerce businesses are created. According to Statista, the business data platform, these are the highlights:
- In the eCommerce market, the number of users is expected to amount to 62.1m by 2025.
- The average revenue per user is expected to amount to £1,555.47.
- In 2021, 96% of total eCommerce purchases in the UK will be domestic.
The UK is leading the eCommerce boom
According to eCommerce News, eCommerce last year in the United Kingdom was worth around £170b with the expectation of increasing by another 18 billion by the end of 2021. That’s a growth of around 10.5%.
In fact the UK is the largest B2C eCommerce market in Europe with 87% of the online population buying something online last year.
The benefits of having an eCommerce site
So, what is all the fuss about? To understand why eCommerce is widely considered to be the future of retail, you need to understand the benefits of having an eCommerce site.
Setup and running costs
If you’re developing a brand new eCommerce business, the setup and running costs are less than an offline business. The sales process is automated and there is less administration, so wage costs are lower. You also avoid the running costs of a bricks and mortar business, such as rent and utilities.
Yes, there is a cost to setting up the eCommerce site and maintaining it, but anything you spend on setting that up will be repaid in sales because you can reach more customers and expand your product range more quickly.
An online store has a much further reach than a high street outlet – the world wide web and all that! As more people use their tablets or computers to shop, you can target your ideal audience through SEO platforms. This can drill down to the kind of products that they buy which then gives you a higher checkout rate.
Being online simply makes your products and services more accessible as people search for what they need conveniently, from the comfort of their own homes.
Easy management from anywhere in the world
Rather than having to be on site to oversee the business, the sales and administration of an eCommerce store can be managed from wherever you happen to be. This means you can spend more time on your procurement, visiting suppliers and extending your range. You simply take your business with you.
Customer expectation and changing buying habits led to retail stores opening for longer hours many years ago. Stores that open 9 to 5 miss out of hours trade. In contrast, customers can view and purchase products on an eCommerce site at any time of day.
Upselling and cross-selling
It is easy to increase online sales through upselling and cross-selling. Through automated processes customers can be offered products to go with something they have just bought, or they can be tempted with suggestions such as “you may also like”. This leads to increased sales without any human intervention.
Systems like Google Analytics provide all the statistics you need to monitor the success of product ranges, promotional campaigns and customer activity. You can easily find out the number of orders received, average order value, cart abandonment rate and so on.
You can also keep a keen eye on order turnaround times and other KPIs through the eCommerce system. Payments can be monitored too.
Once the eCommerce website is set up, you shouldn’t need to spend too much time running the operations side of the business because all processes are automated. Of course, there will be issues to deal with and maybe not all of the business will be online, but it significantly reduces manual intervention and therefore time and cost.
eCommerce and the pandemic
With retail stores having to close over the pandemic, more retailers than ever have either supplemented their business with an eCommerce site, or completely moved online. They will have benefited from everyone being stuck at home at a time when traditional retail shops were unable to earn a penny. There is less risk with an eCommerce site, and much to gain.
Why Choose Breeze Development?
Breeze Development is an eCommerce web design and development company based in the north west. If you would like a no-obligation chat about how we can help you with an existing or new eCommerce website, please arrange a free digital marketing consultation.