Online shopping chalks up 20% growth to reach £80bn

online shopAnyone searching for proof that ecommerce has been one of the big winners of the Covid-19 lockdown need look no further, with new figures revealing the UK’s online shopping sector will have clawed in an extra £5.3bn by the end of the year, with, surprise, surprise, Amazon set to benefit the most.

With retailers across England reopening their doors for socially distanced shopping, those who have been running online operations now expect to grow nearly 20% year-on-year, up from pre-pandemic estimates of 11%, rising to £78.9bn this year.

The research, from Edge Retail Insight, also suggests that Amazon is set to take the lion’s share of the online boom, bringing in an extra £2bn in sales in the UK this year alone, with revenue soaring to £31.1bn.

Meanwhile, supermarkets, discounters and health retailers are also set to see significant boosts from the pandemic. Supermarket growth estimates have jumped from -0.8 pre-pandemic to 3.3%, accounting for £82.7bn in sales.

Pharmacies and health retailers will also benefit, with growth of 4% this year, up from previous estimates of a decline of -4.6 %, accounting for £13.8bn in revenue.

Edge senior director of product and content Xian Wang said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has almost certainly had a lasting impact on the retail sector, reshaping consumer shopping habits, and the priorities for retailers and brands.

“Most prominently, we’re seeing a significant shift to online, as consumers have become reliant on this, following the swathe of store closures globally. This will no doubt lead strong ecommerce players, such as Amazon, to benefit from this greatly.”

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