Did you know that UK shoppers spend on average £558 million per week on online shopping?
Cyber Monday, one of the busiest online shopping days, saw £720 millionworth of UK online sales this year — kicking December off for a record-breaking month for online businesses.
While online shopping provides convenience and freedom of choice, many businesses are struggling to keep pace with changing habits. Staying fully informed on this new trend could make the difference between survival and falling victim to the retail apocalypse.
Join us as we explore the growth of online business and how your company can unlock online payment solutions to maximise scalability.
Online Shopping Trends in the UK
With online shopping spend in the UK predicted to increase by 30% over the next four years, our growing appetite for online convenience doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Online retailers, like eShakti, Shoptagr, and Forever 21, have gone beyond simple transactions to develop sophisticated technologies that enhance the online shopping experience.
Whether you’re a phone repairs service or fashion retailer, transitioning into online commerce and embracing modern technology opens new doors and helps you get in front of your ideal audience.
Especially during the run-up to Christmas — one of the busiest times of the year for online sales with 55%of all holiday purchases taking place online.
Popular Sectors for Online Shopping
If your business specialises in sportswear, clothing, travel, ticketing, or household goods, you need to focus on online sales.
Clothing and sportswear are the two biggest sectors for e-commerce, closely followed by household goods, travel arrangements and event tickets, which were purchased online by more than 40% of the UK’s population in 2019.
On the other hand, medicine dispensing, computer hardware, and telecommunications have been slower to the game with fewer than 20%of UK households making purchases online for these products.
Although online shopping accounts for a growing proportion of overall sales, the High Street is far from dead: the beauty sector has remarkably seen a 207%increase in financing demands and there’s been a 69% increase in the number of barbershop openings since 2016.
Even for retailers who’ve been unable to fight-off online competition, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
When entertainment retailer, Zavvi, was forced into insolvency in 2009, it fought its way to survive as an online distributor of DVDs, film merchandise, and homeware. Today, Zavvi lives to tell the tale after recently celebrating its 10th birthday as a fully-functioning online business.
Why the Growth in Online Shopping?
While the increased popularity of online business is clear, many traditional businesses are unable to understand why it’s so popular.
Let’s look at some of the key drivers behind the extreme growth of online shopping so your business can join the party:
- Unrivalled Convenience. The hottest e-commerce businesses are doing everything they can to offer a seamless shopping experience. Today’s consumers don’t need to take a trip into town or hop on the bus to find the things they need. With just a few clicks, they can fill their baskets with anything from groceries to an all-inclusive holiday.
- Same-Day Delivery. A handful of online retailers, like Amazon and Argos, now offer same-day delivery on orders made before a certain time. Research into using drones to deliver packages promises an exciting future for online retailers.
- Technology Crazy. Possibly the most significant driver behind successful online businesses is the use of cutting-edge technologies. Whether it’s using virtual reality to try on clothes or creating one-click payment processes for a speedy check-out, technology helps online businesses to differentiate from rivals.
- Personalised Shopping Experiences. Online retail allows for hyper-personalised experiences and tailored marketing messages to boost customer engagement. Personalised navigation tools, product categories, auto-suggestions, and targeted social media ads help retailers create immersive online experiences.
- Mobile Shopping. The rise of the smartphone makes it easier than ever for customers to shop online. Online shopping market research by GlobalData predicts mobile shopping will continue to be the fastest-growing retail market in the UK. Experts predict spending will climb by over £17 billion over the next five years — reaching a staggering £33 billion by 2024.
How You Can Benefit from a Merchant Cash Advance
While the benefits of selling products or services online are clear, many businesses struggle to finance the transition to e-commerce.
Whether it’s paying a web developer to set-up a website, managing cash flow for new stock, or leasing a storage space, the outgoing costs of running your online business won’t always align with the cash coming in from sales.
That's where our flexible funding solution can help you — our merchant cash advances provide immediate funding from £5,000 to £200,000, with no APR or late fees, you only repay when your customers pay you. With an increased cash flow you can boost online sales in the following ways:
- Invest in Google AdWords and social media advertising to create tailored marketing messages which put your online business in front of the right people.
- Replenish your inventory to maximise sales and operate at your maximum capacity.
- Invest in web development to increase online customer experiences and build customer loyalty.
- Cover the day-to-day running costs of a website, paying employees, and technical expenses.
Access to capital gives your business the freedom and flexibility it needs to stretch its legs and grow.
Scale Your Online Business with 365 Business Finance
Don’t let your online business stand still. It’s time to take on the e-commerce giants and feed your business with the cash it needs to satisfy the growing appetite for online shopping.
Learn more about our business cash advance today!