UK to become third biggest e-commerce market

Written by Anthony Strzalek
18/10/2017

The UK will be the world’s third biggest market for e-commerce in 2021, growing by an average of almost 10 per cent over the next five years, according to new data from Worldpay.

In its annual Global Payments Report, Worldpay found that UK e-commerce will be worth £203 billion by 2021, putting the country behind only China and the USA in terms of the value of e-commerce transactions.

Worldpay’s research, which examined the online shopping market in 36 countries across five continents, found that more traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards are set to experience a steady decline over the next five years. By 2021 debit card payments are forecast to fall from 31 per cent of the total e-commerce market to 26 per cent, with credit cards and cash on delivery also in decline.

Conversely, e-wallets are set for strong growth and are set to eclipse debit cards and become the most popular payment method for online transactions, taking 34 per cent of the market. This rapid growth will help fuel the m-commerce market, which is projected to rise at an annual average of 21 per cent in the next five years, faster than China, the US and Japan.

Dave Glaser, chief product officer, global e-commerce at Worldpay, said: “The UK is a highly-developed e-commerce market, with a population of over 66 million – 95 per cent of whom have access to the internet. As a result, consumers are comfortable with making a wide variety of purchases online and via multiple devices and payment methods.

“The predicted rise in both e-commerce and m-commerce is a strong vote of confidence in the security and convenience of the UK’s digital payments infrastructure. UK consumers are among the world’s earliest adopters of new technologies, including new payment methods, so retailers need to stay on top of technological and regulatory developments.”