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Sales at UK's biggest e-retailers jump 23% in 2016-17
Mar '18
Sales at UK
Sales at the 20 biggest online-only retailers of the United Kingdom have jumped by 23 per cent in the last year, hitting £8.4 billion in 2016/17, up from £6.8 billion 2015/16, says a recent survey. The sharp rise shows no sign of slowing down, with rise in mobile commerce as shoppers embrace ‘anywhere, anytime’ shopping via their smartphones.

Augmented Reality functionality in e-retail apps, allows shoppers to see exactly how a purchase will look in their home, reveals a research by UK-based professional services firm RPC. The research covers household names such as Ocado, ASOS and AO.com, as well as fast-growing brands.

RPC found that last year Marks & Spencer’s online sales were up by 6 per cent, compared to just 1 per cent for its retail operations as a whole. "The maturing of m-commerce is helping e-retailers super-charge sales. Increasingly sophisticated mobile shopping platforms are making it easy for consumers to make purchases quickly and easily whenever they want, wherever they are," said Jeremy Drew, co-head of retail at RPC.

"From being virtually unknown five or ten years ago, many online-only retailers are building strong brands and grabbing more and more market share. Innovative business models and rapidly evolving new technologies such as robotics and AI are enabling e-tailers to be increasingly agile and responsive to customers, while still keeping prices down," stated the study adding that there is an increase in the number of bricks-and-mortar retailers investing heavily in their online offerings too.

Online retailers are also sharpening their competitive edge by investing in automation in their warehousing and logistics to become more efficient as competition on choice, price and customer convenience intensifies, according to the study.

Karen Hendy, RPC’s Co-Head of Retail adds, "As online-only sales continue to grow strongly, there’s real potential for a wave of consolidation among e-retailers. Some of the larger players will be keeping an eye out for fast-growing platforms they can bolt-on, in order to rapidly grow their customer bases or to give themselves a foot in the door of new markets. We are already seeing this sort of strategic deal-making taking place."

In 2017, fashion e-tailer BooHoo acquired online rival Pretty Little Thing and US fashion label Nasty Gal in deals worth over £19 million. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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