Online retail in UK set to top £77bn in 2012

The forecast further strengthens the UK’s position as a global leader in the market, second only to the US in terms of market value.

The market has exploded in recent years, with 30 per cent of all cross border trade in Europe, going through UK retailers.

John Andrews is Managing Director of Interactive Media in Retail Groups (IMRG). He said: “This means that British retailers export more than the rest of Europe’s e-retailers put together. It is a huge business – last year our research found that there were 228,000 UK online retail businesses now, that’s an estimated 30 per cent more than the year before.”

He added that this number was expected to double to 1.5 million by 2015.

The British dominance in online retail is one of the main topics of discussion at the British Business Embassy at Lancaster House on August 9.

The British Business Embassy, developed by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), is the centrepiece of the Government’s international business legacy programme taking place during London 2012’s Olympic Games time.

Minister for UK Trade & Investment, Lord Green, said: “We will be welcoming 3,000 UK and international business leaders at Lancaster House for one of the country’s most ambitious series of business summits. London 2012 offers a unique opportunity for global leaders to meet, debate and do business. It is also a chance for us to demonstrate our outstanding expertise, skills and knowledge in all sectors and share this with the world.”

The Retail Food and Drink day on August 9, will see government ministers and some of the world’s leading CEOs from the sector come together,to showcase UK innovations and introduce international and UK companies to one another. Britain is a great place to do business and UKTI can offer companies a wealth of business support either for exporting or setting up in the UK.

Mr Andrews will be among those discussing how the UK’s innovations can impact globally as well as exploring how international and UK companies can collaborate and partner in the future.

The event programme key note speeches and seminars include:

  • online retail;
  • identifying global challenges in health and wellness;
  • meeting the demands of the global consumer in a sustainable manner and the ethical journey through the supply chain, retailers and consumers; and
  • the Omni/multi channel retail and how modern technology increasingly allows the consumer to dictate how they interact with a brand.

Mr Andrews added that mobile and m-commerce had confirmed the breakthrough they had anticipated in online retail. He said: “All over the world, in emerging as well as mature economies, the use of mobile internet is rapidly increasing. In the UK, shopping through mobile devices is continuing to grow at remarkable speed with sales through mobile devices penetrating the 5 % barrier of total e-retail sales for the first time in Q4 2011.”