In 2020, customers spent increased amounts of time at home due to national lockdowns in the UK, which lasted for more than four months in total. During home seclusion, customers increasingly chose video streaming services as a form of entertainment, with the category recording one of the strongest e-commerce value growth rates in 2020.
Online sales of food-related industries, such as groceries and foodservice, registered the strongest growth of e-commerce sales in 2020. Although the operation of foodservice providers was limited during lockdowns, with eat-in services being prohibited, most restaurants were allowed to fulfil takeaway and delivery orders.
Despite home seclusion boosting sales in the home entertainment and food industries, it limited sales in many others. For example, 2020 was an extraordinary year for travel, be it either domestic or international.
Mobile has been reshaping e-commerce in the UK, and is expected to continue to do so over the forecast period. As smartphone devices enable instant access to services from anywhere, customers have an enhanced preference for using their phones to browse online, or stream videos and music.
As the adoption of e-commerce significantly grew during the pandemic, retailers and foodservice providers already enhanced their multi-channel sales models to accommodate the increased online demand in 2020. Over the forecast period, the online market space is likely to become more crowded than ever, as besides the continued high demand for essentials online, the recovery of travel is likely to further boost e-commerce sales in the UK.
Use of social media platforms has become an integral part of digitally connected UK customers’ everyday lives. Not surprisingly, commerce through such social media has come to the fore in recent years.
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