Ecommerce Facts & Figures of the United Kingdom

Introduction to the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy in Western Europe. It has a population of 65.5 million people and its capital is London. The official language is English and widely spoken foreign languages are French and German. United Kingdom has a GDP of €2,429.2 billion, which represents a GDP per capita of €37.309 in 2017.


  • 65.5 million people
  • GDP of €2,429.2 billion
  • 4.8% unemployed
  • Inflation of 0.6%


Ecommerce in the United Kingdom

In 2017, the English B2C ecommerce turnover grew by 13.4% to €197.4 billion. United Kingdom had an online population of 60.6 million of people who were aged 15 and older. Of the total online population, 43.4 million bought something online in 2015. The average spending per eShopper was €3,625 in this year.


B2C Ecommerce Turnover €197.4 billion
B2C Ecommerce growth 13.4%
Online population 60.6 million
Number of eShoppers 43.4 million
VAT rate 20%
Most popular payment method Debit Cards


Tips for ecommerce in the United Kingdom

28% of young British shoppers (aged 16-21) browse online stores, even when they do not have a product in mind. For adult shoppers (aged 22-65) this is 12%.


Make sure that credit cards are your main payment method. UK customers are unfamiliar with processing Bank Transfers and Cash on Delivery.


You should convert the costs of products into British Pounds. UK customers are often charged by banks for buying online in euros.


The UK is among the top ranking countries for foreign web customers. Make sure your website is available not only to local but also to foreign customers in terms of language and usability.


Do not use shipping companies that do not offer a tracking number. UK customers like to know where their goods are during transit.


Not having a contact center in the UK might annoy customers, as it is expensive to ring and post returns to mainland Europe.


Do not take UK customers for granted. Their expectations and standards are very high and they will only stick with your company and/or product as long as these are met.


Consumers respond well to advertising and will buy if they see an advantage, such as price, quality, superior design, branding or environmental benefits. After-sales service is important as consumers do not hesitate to complain and defend their rights.


For British consumers, it is important that they are not charged any shipping costs. They attach more value to this than to fast delivery.


Click and collect is an important way of logistics in the UK.


If the threshold is not exceeded, but the applicable VAT rate of the country of arrival is lower than the VAT rate of the country where the transport begins, the supplier could nevertheless opt to account for VAT of the country of arrival. Please note that this is only possible when certain conditions have been fulfilled.

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Managing Director
Ecommerce Foundation Contributions: 71


  • Jorij Abraham
    Managing Director
    Ecommerce Foundation, Safe.Shop
    Contributions: 71