Skip navigation and search
Open in Microsoft Edge
Tracking Tracking

E-commerce in the United Kingdom

Online share of retail sales is number one in Europe.

The UK is one of the world’s leading e-commerce nations, particularly in groceries, where it was an early mover compared to, for example, the Nordic countries. E-commerce consumers are both domestic and foreign, which contributes to the country’s strength in the market. Internet penetration is 98%, making the UK one of the top EU countries for internet usage. In March 2021, e-commerce accounted for around 34% of all retail sales.


Impact of the coronavirus pandemic

The United Kingdom has been under a series of lockdowns during the pandemic. The lack of open physical stores led Britons to turn to e-commerce. As much as 40% of consumers state they have shopped more online as a result of the coronavi- rus pandemic, and this is in a country that already does a relatively large amount of online shopping.


The UK has many domestic market participants with large market shares. UK-based ASOS is one of the world’s leading fashion and footwear retailers. In 2020, the company’s net sales increased by 20 percent, to GBP 3,263 million. US market participants Amazon and eBay are also very strong in the country, but Brexit is making things slightly more difficult for the online retail giants. In the past, Amazon sellers have been able to ship their goods to a warehouse in the UK for onward transport to the rest of the EU. Instead, many companies are opening central warehouses in other European countries.

Brexit may delay deliveries

In February 2020, the UK left the European Union after years of negotiations. As the country is no longer part of the EU, it is also no longer part of the customs union. Every UK e-retailer now needs to report exactly what is in their parcels in order to get them past customs. Most online retailers in the UK had difficulty adjusting, resulting in a large number of delayed parcels. It has also become more difficult for Britons to shop from the rest of Europe.

Source: E-commerce in Europe 2021

PostNord – a partner for e-commerce

We provide distribution solutions all over the world and are the biggest and obvious partner for e-commerce in the Nordic market. We have a harmonized, Nordic logistics service offering, ranging from retail supplies and third-party logistics to product distribution and returns processing. With the widest-ranging distribution network in the Nordic region, we shrink the distance between e-commerce and the end-customer.

Using factbased customer insights, we enhance our customers’ profitability by means of communication solutions and platforms that reach the right customer in the right channel at the right time.

Download the full report (EN)