Retail Gazette logoThe UK’s is the world’s most developed online retail market according to a ranking by commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield in front of the United States, Germany and France. The recent IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index shows that an impressive 15 per cent of all UK retail sales are conducted online.

Chris Webster, Capgemini’s Head of Retail Consulting and Technology provided insight into the reasons behind our position. In Retail Gazette, Chris explains how a substantial part of our e-retailing success story is down to the strength of our broadband infrastructure reaching over 74 per cent of all UK households. Our take-up of 3G and now 4G, the fastest in Europe, is another driver of sector growth. Furthermore Britain’s abundance of easy-to-use smart phones and affordable tablets has made it effortless to log on and shop in a few clicks. The recent IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking report shows that 48 per cent of visits to e-retail websites are made via smartphones and tablets, with mobile sales accounting for 34 per cent of UK e-retail sales.

As the home of the original Goldilocks fairy tale it should come as no surprise that the UK should also be its greatest exponent. The country’s unique conditions have allowed the e-retail market to thrive to the benefit of consumers and retailers alike. Shoppers now expect, and often get, an optimised experience and retailers drive more shoppers to their brand. Geographically speaking, Britain is also the perfect size for e-retail and is ideal for click and collect services. British retailers were also the first to recognise and embrace e-commerce technology as a means to supporting their traditional businesses rather than seeing it as a threat.

However, e-retail still faces challenges. As consumer behaviour continues to diverge from traditional retail models to e-retail and even further to mobile, brands will be increasingly asked to overcome high order abandonment rates. Brands will need to innovate constantly in order to sustain a level of engagement with shoppers who are always on the lookout for the next big thing.

Read the full story in Retail Gazette