E-Commerce In The UK: Looking Under The Bonnet

Table of Contents

Why are online shoppers happiest in the UK?

According to recent research conducted worldwide, e-commerce in the UK seems to keep its customers the happiest! 79 % of UK consumers rate their experiences with retailers as being either excellent or very good, compared to the global average of 69 %.

The United Kingdom is the second-best country in Europe for startups

This increase in the satisfaction levels of e-commerce customers in the UK is mainly attributed to the following:

  • A fresh delivery of groceries
  • Quick and easy payment processing
  • Quick website/app load times

If you look at the above insights, you can tell that the e-commerce sector is booming in the UK.

e-commerce in the UK

Lets elaborate more on that aspect of the above information.

Also Read: Will Live Video eCommerce Shut Brick & Mortar Stores?

e-Commerce in the UK: Scope for Startups

There have been a lot of discussions about e-commerce startup survival in the UK. However, the recent data suggests otherwise. It portrays e-commerce in the UK one of the most profitable business, as much as 95% of the population in the UK are internet users.

This year is expected to turn out to be a lot more profitable to the e-commerce sector than the previous year.

Here are the reasons why we believe that e-Commerce in the UK has a good scope for startups to rise and shine.

Much Awaited Government Support for Overall Startups

Over the past 2 years, the UK government has stepped up in supporting the startups.

  • They have started initiatives such as Start-Up Loans scheme, funding competitions, London Co-Investment Fund, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), Research and Development tax credits, Horizon 2020 funding pot etc.
  • In terms of soft support, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy maintains a database of schemes offering expertise and advice, while the Business is Great website provides information on subjects ranging from how to protect your intellectual property to tax advice.
  • According to its latest plans to make the UK a world leader in digital connectivity in its Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review. It aims at giving the majority of the UK population access to 5G, connect 15 million premises to full-fibre broadband by 2025.

Booming Foreign Investments, Despite Brexit Impacts

2019 proved to be one of the best years for the UK. The foreign investment it received in the first half of the year, surpassed the total investments received throughout 2018.

The largest part was contributed by the world’s biggest e-commerce giant, Amazon ($575m in UK food delivery service Deliveroo) and Japan’s SoftBank ($800m investment in Greensill) respectively.

Every latest development and research point towards the boost an e-commerce startup can get in the UK.

Justifying the Major Failure of e-Commerce Startups in the UK

90% of the e-commerce startups in the UK fail to survive for more than 120 days of operations.

This seems like a terrible record, but what we need to understand is that factors that lead to failure.

The UK government is trying its best to retain the startups with the policies and technology updates it is providing to the business economy as a whole. Now, moving on to, why are e-commerce startups failing in the UK?

Following are the 3 major reasons for the failure of e-commerce startups in the UK:

1. Poor Online Marketing

Online marketing in today’s era is the most trusted and widely spread medium to market your business. An e-commerce business stands nowhere if they are poor in online marketing.

Suggested Read: Enhance Your Brand Awareness

2. Lack of Online Search Visibility

Lack of online search visibility is directly related to poor SEO practices. The startups need to hire personnel who are well versed with how to show up in the SERP results.

3. Little to no Market for their Products or Services

Before starting a new business, the Pilot study is a must. This way you know about the behaviour of your target market and their requirements, expectations etc.  An e-commerce startup shall and must keep into account the demand of the particular product or service in the respective market.

Successful e-Commerce Startups for Proof

Butternut Box

A direct-to-consumer pet wellness company, Butternut Box makes freshly prepared dog food that can be ordered online and delivered at home. Founded in 2016, Butternut Box recently raised £15m from Five Seasons Ventures and White Star Capital.


Trouva is the leading online marketplace for the best independent bricks-and-mortar shops. By bridging online and offline for the greatest independent boutiques, Trouva enables its customers to access a wide selection of one-of-a-kind products they won’t find elsewhere, hand-picked by the best curators across the UK and Europe.


Aimed at the massive music-lover market, London company Festicket offers a platform where you can book festival tickets as well as accommodation, transport and other extras. The website offers lists of countries to visit, featured festivals, music genres, popular artists and more.

This may help: Keywords 101: A Useful Guide To Keywords

My Conclusion

The UK is emerging as a great place for e-commerce startups to flourish.

The no. of startups that failed to survive in the UK economy are more than that of startups that survived. But if you look at the top reasons for their failure, you will see that lack of awareness was the major factor contributing to the downfall of these e-commerce startups.

It is still a good idea to get into e-commerce in the UK.


e-commerce in the UK

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Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date.

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