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UK E-commerce: 3 Essential FAQs for Newbies

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Are you in the UK thinking of expanding your business around the globe or joining the e-commerce industry?

Perhaps you’ve got plenty of questions. Hopefully, this list of FAQs helps answer some of them:

1. Is E-Commerce Growing in the UK?

Yes, it is growing – massively. As of 2019, it already breached 200 billion euros in e-commerce earnings. By 2020, experts believe that it could grow by at least 11%, making it still the biggest global commerce retailer in Europe.

The UK can also benefit from the growth of e-commerce around the world. According to Statista, global retail sales online will climb by 22% in 2023 from around 16% this 2020. It’s already a huge leap from a measly 7.4% increase in 2015.

However, Shopify would like you to temper the excitement by saying that global e-commerce still accounts for a small share of the total retail sales. Brick-and-mortar reigns supreme, although the growth has been steadily declining through the years. The impact is even more felt this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re a business with a physical store, now is the best time to transition to e-commerce. If not, offer it as one of your multichannel revenue platforms. Meanwhile, if you’re already selling products and services online, strike while the iron is hot. ;

2. Does China Still Top the E-Commerce Market?

China is indeed one big e-commerce market. In 2019, its total traded volume reached a whopping $1.94 trillion. That’s an increase of over 25% compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, eMarketer revealed that consumers in this country would spend at least $2 trillion on online retail this year.

Nevertheless, for the World Retail Congress, the number one market for the industry is the United States for the following reasons:

  • Ease of doing business
  • Logistics infrastructure
  • Level of comfort in online shopping
  • High level of trust for online sellers
  • Huge market (79% of the population have purchased something online in 2018)
  • A high percentage of cross-border online shoppers (shopping in foreign sites)


Although many Chinese consumers are also engaging in cross-border shopping, the country has a lot of huge e-commerce sites already.

Businesses want to start marketing their products first to the United States, but they might want to invest in international toll-free numbers to boost communication and customer service.

3. What Are the Hottest Items to Sell in E-Commerce?

There’s no official list of trendy products to sell online. It depends on many factors, such as the age of your market, the price they’re willing to pay, location, and needs.

These days, because of the pandemic, sanitary and hygiene products are the most popular. Experts estimate that worldwide sales of respirators and surgical masks could reach at least $10 billion this year. By 2025, it could achieve a market value of $50 billion, according to Statista.

The good news is you can learn the trends. Here are a few tips:

  • Visit shopping sites. Amazon, Oberlo, Shopify, Alibaba, and Aliexpress can provide in-depth market reports. You can also glean their list of popular items.
  • Use Google Trends. The website gives you an idea of whether people are talking about the products you have in mind. You can customize your search according to location and date.
  • Focus on niches. It’s easier for you to research the market and reduce competition.

Overall, the UK has been ready for e-commerce for a long time, but since the rest of the world is still trying to catch up, there’s still plenty of room for you. But you might want to do it as soon as you can.

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