Online Shopping Statistics UK 2020

8 min

online shoppinkg statistics in the UK 2020

Online shopping statistics can help you make decisions to optimise your eCommerce store. 2020 has been a difficult year for businesses in general, as well as the constant changing user behaviour and demands of customers in the UK.

To help you keep up to date with search interest, we have compiled a collection of trends of online shopping which will help you to better understand your customer. View the full Online Shopping Statistics 2020 Infographic.

Online Shopping Statistics UK 2020: What did we do?

The data driven research carried out for 5874 Commerce’s online shopping stats shows what users are interested in the UK for 2020. We partnered up with Censuswide and interviewed over 2,000 people in the UK about their shopping experiences to know what is important for online users right now. This information is specially relevant for companies to create client personas – a complete profile of the ‘perfect customer’.

What do customers want from brands?

Online purchases and conversions are strongly related to the way your brand connects with your audience. What users want from your brand against what is offered will determine if a purchase is made or not.

Conversion factors: Price is the deal breaker

As expected, price is the main factor that will determine a conversion. It is important as a brand to establish an optimised pricing strategy, keeping a close eye to the competition and item margins. Being able to find a balance between the ideal profit and the value offered with the item will keep your product competitive and desirable.

online shopping statistics 2020 says price is the main conversion factor

Price: Key conversion factor in eCommerce

Sustainability should also be the main focus of brands

This survey has revealed some interesting points. Users are increasingly demanding eco-friendly commerce, with sustainability being the second most important focus consumers think an eCommerce store should have.

34% of online users interviewed stated that sustainability should be a top priority for any brand. Despite sustainability being such an important decision-making factor, there are a lot of brands that have not made efforts to promote sustainable practices on their websites.

What is sustainability? How can it affect your eCommerce business?

Sustainability in eCommerce can mean a number of things. What packaging does the brand use? Are there efforts towards recyclability? Are the products themselves eco-friendly? Does the brand offer an opportunity to offset the environmental impact of the purchase? Are you able to donate to an environmental cause? Brands can adopt a huge number of processes to make their business more ethical and sustainable.

However, not all businesses can apply the same policies and measures towards their sustainability focus. For example, if you own a clothing company you’ll probably be aware that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry after oil. Brands and eCommerce stores have a great challenge to switch their efforts towards sustainability.

On the other hand, users are aware of this kind of barrier and appreciate other sorts of initiatives to embrace sustainability:

What can a company do to be more sustainable?

Online shopping trends show that in 2020 brands should focus their optimisation efforts in order to achieve an eCommerce sustainable business model. This can be achieved by:

  • Sustainable eCommerce packaging
  • Delivery and returns options
  • Brand values and ethos.
  • Global ecological balance
  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Sustainable materials

Purchase Journey: Delivery and Returns as the third deciding factor

We often see the delivery and returns processes as key decision factors for a user when making a purchase. In an eco-conscious world, it is apparent that online users appreciate sustainable packaging solutions that give them somehow the option to have an eco-friendly package.

Delivery, however, is still one of the main causes of cart abandonment. Merchants should be upfront with delivery costs, saving the user time in a process where at the end, will only increase the bounce rate and lower the performance of the site.

Online users do not pay as much attention to the returns as to the delivery process. Although it is still important in the user’s mind to have easy steps detailed in the website that will help in case there is an incident with the purchase.

Online shopping statistics 2020

Online Shopping Stats UK 2020

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Website accessibility and easy navigation: Key factor for user experience

Online shopping statistics gathered in this survey revealed that website accessibility is something expected for brands to cover. 34% of the customers interviewed agreed that a website should be accessible for all.

How can a website be more accessible?

1. Making sure there is a good colour contrast for text

2. Design forms for accessibility

3. Using descriptive link text

4. Using headers to structure content

5. Avoiding automating media and navigation, making sure the user is in control of their online experience.

6. Using alt text for images. Alt-text is an attribute that was created to help visually-impaired users better understand the content of an image. Making sure this text is descriptive will improve the readability of the images.

An easy navigational site will provide a better user experience. This is important as it could potentially improve returning users and brand loyalty.

Often, brands overlook the power of the lifetime value of customers. It is essential for a business to improve this relationship as a returning user who has already converted has more chances of repeating a purchase than a newly acquired one.

Why is website accessibility important for my eCommerce store?

Shopping habits differ in a huge way across the different generations. Be this because of cultural traits, political standpoints, or a mix of other stimuli, we can all agree that these demographics are all influenced in their own ways. Website accessibility is one of the most important elements to have in mind when building your eCommerce store. A data-driven focus on your website might show that the majority of the users for your eCommerce store are Millenials and Gen Z. However, it is key for your business to analyse if this is the result of lack of accessibility in your website.

Online shopping trends 2020: accessibility graph

Online shopping trends 2020: Accessibility

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Gen Z and Millennials are well adapted to technology and can manage to navigate a difficult site if it is ultimately going to fulfil their purpose. An eCommerce store could be losing potential customers by not adapting to the requirements of an older generation who are not considered digitally native.

Retailers must adapt their stores if they want to be attractive to all demographics, or streamline their marketing efforts if they are only targeting a certain niche market. Either way, we know that each generation responds very differently as one has very different needs to the next.

Accessibility and Mobile Commerce

It’s bizarre to think of a time when we didn’t all essentially have a mini-computer in our pockets. From photographs to communication to finance, we can all access a huge amount of data and perform almost unlimited actions from a portable device. Mobile commerce is on the rise and it’s only getting bigger!

According to Think With Google, A one-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%. 60% of Gen Z will refuse to use a website if it is slow to load. Optimising pages to improve load speed and keep attention is vital for prolonged engagement and increase in session time and reduction in bounce rates.

Being the most hyper-connected generation, Gen Z-ers have their own set of attitudes towards both technology and the economy, which has a huge impact on their purchasing decisions.

There is contrasting research about the nature of Boomers and their shopping habits.  Although the preference of the Boomer generation was not typically to shop online, the global pandemic has indeed forced the digital world upon them.

With issues relating to accessibility and usability of sites, there also comes some positivity for merchants – this age group shows an indication of potential bigger transaction values.

According to Google, “More than 90% of B2B buyers reporting a superior mobile experience say they’re likely to buy again from the same vendor, compared with only about 50% of those reporting a poor mobile experience”.

How has coronavirus impacted online business?

With coronavirus online shopping increased dramatically, accelerating online transformation by an average of 5 years.

2020 has been the year where optimised stores have improved their performance and sales, making apparent where other eCommerce businesses are lacking. The global pandemic has shown a website accessibility gap between generations. 66% of users interviewed between 54-77 years old stated that ignoring older customers’ needs will result in a loss of business online revenue. Bad news for brand owners!

Shopping Trends 2020: Inclusivity and diversity

Diversity is about identifying differences between groups of people. Overall, diversity spans racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, academic, professional, religious, political, sexual, heritage, and life experience differences, too.

Around 5 years ago, online users started demanding inclusivity and diversity in websites. Customers like to feel represented and valued by the brand. The way that a brand includes its target with its products will determine whether there is an opportunity for a lifetime relationship with the user.

Dove was one of the first brands that invested time and effort in spreading this good practice. Another of the brands that seemed impossible to change was Barbie. They have al embraced diversity and inclusivity in their products. Their most recent campaign shows dolls with all sorts of shapes and sizes and they have even released their first gender-neutral doll.

This shows that even the most traditional eCommerce stores can improve inclusivity. Starting with a diverse website can change the way users see your eCommerce business.

How important is diversity and inclusivity in your business?

Online shopping statistics show that in the UK 40% of Millenials and 33% of Gen Z choose brands that represent their body types when making a purchase online. Commerce business, particularly fashion brands, used to frequently employ heavily marketing-focused approaches involving fantasy selling and making customers believe they needed to acquire the item in order to feel good.

Different generations show different approaches in this view. While Millenials and Gen Z are heavily influenced by a diversity – driven brand, older generations do not share this approach. Only 20% of Boomers would not buy from a brand where they are not represented.  Old ways of marketing a product might have influenced this point of view.

Representation

How can we solve the diversity gap? Diversity should not be an afterthought. The true ethos and values of a company must align with their marketing strategies to produce respectful, inclusive, and more effective content that appeals to greater audiences. Diversity starts at the top and needs to be filtered down through the various levels. Communication is key – It’s time to celebrate the minority groups that have been previously excluded!

Research by our partners, Yotpo, finds 75% of female UK and US eCommerce consumers favour brands whose adverts show women of various ethnicities.

How can my company promote diversity?

Online shopping trends show that an eCommerce store can be approached differently by customers if diversity and inclusivity are promoted in their website. Your business can be more diverse by:

  • Company philosophy and vision explained: Be transparent with your eCommerce business ethos and values
  • Align your values with your customer’s needs
  • Socially conscious brands: Raise awareness about important and relevant issues to your audience

Knowing your audience is essential for your brand to have optimal performance, Adapting your site to the values of your target will improve overall brand image, conversions, and loyalty.

Diversity and inclusion in 2020

Diversity and inclusion should be in your website.

Download Infographic Here 

Customer Loyalty

One way to improve inclusivity is to make your customers feel valued and appreciated. Loyalty schemes can act as a customer retention tool that keep them coming back again and again.

Positive reviews can also help customer loyalty sky-rocket. If customers read positive feedback about a brand they were questioning buying from, they are far more likely to take this info on board, which may in fact sway their decisions and help to convert. The average customer is willing to spend 31% more on a retailer that has excellent reviews.

eCommerce payment: Flexibility

Brands need to be able to cater to every customer’s needs right from the start of the journey, across all touchpoints and on every channel and device. Not for the fainthearted!

The payment stage is a huge opportunity for merchants to exercise flexible commerce, as it’s the point where customers are handing over their hard-earned cash.

Optimising the checkout experience is an incredibly important stage that all merchants should consider. Making this part of the purchase process seamless and streamlined should be a priority.

One of the most widely accepted payment methods is PayPal, but what if that is the only one that can be found on your website? What would happen if your site only accepts cards? It will push away those who don’t have access to process a payment this way. This is why despite the popularity of an online payment method, your eCommerce business should offer alternative options that give flexibility to the customer.

What are the preferred alternative payment methods in the UK?

When talking about alternative payment methods, the most popular one among UK users is Klarna. The economical crisis derived from the coronavirus pandemic has not stopped Millenials and Gen Z from shopping online. 17% of them declared that their favourite payment method is Klarna. Payments like Google, Apple Pay or Klarna were chosen as preferred methods by less than 3% of users between 55-74 years old.

Flexible payments in eCommerce: 2020 Statistics

Flexible payments in eCommerce

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What are the benefits of using alternative payment methods?

Alternative payment methods will improve the flexibility and accessibility of your eCommerce store.

What are the benefits of using alternative payment methods?

  • Increase trust in your buying process
  • Improve real-time payment acceptance
  • Speeds up the decision-making process
  • Makes the online purchase more efficient
  • Optimise check out to improve conversions.

The goal of your eCommerce store is to maximise conversions as well as the engagement of your site. Carefully choosing the optimal payment methods and offering several options will lead to a boost in your conversions.

Online shopping statistics have shown what customers want from a brand in the UK in 2020. Is your eCommerce store up to date?

View the full Online Shopping Statistics 2020 Infographic here

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