The UK e-retail market is expected to increase by 35% to reach £68.8bn by 2022, according to a report by GlobalData.
Titled ‘E-retail in the UK 2017-2022’, the report states that the clothing and footwear sector will be the biggest contributor to the growth.
The health & beauty and furniture & floorcoverings sectors will also rise during the period, while the health & beauty sector is forecast to witness a 66.2% increase in sales by 2022 despite its low penetration in 2017.
Mobile phones have emerged as the most preferred channel for online purchases, which are driven by lower prices and convenience. Approximately 78% of the UK population have bought items online in the last 12 months.
Senior retail analyst at GlobalData Sofie Willmott believes e-retailers such as Amazon and ASOS are expected to introduce new technology, which will further drive sales.
Boots and Superdrug are the market leaders in the segment although they are expected to face competition from retailers such as Lookfantastic.com and ASOS.
Despite projected growth, e-retail poses a number of challenges such as the management of returned stock. Online returns are projected to grow at the same pace as online spend over the forecast period. The clothing & footwear sector is expected to account for 70% of all online returns.
Online returns will pose a major challenge for e-retailers as consumers become increasingly aware of the simple returns process, says Willmott.