Amazon tops UK online retail charts

06 June 2011

LONDON: Amazon, eBay and Tesco are the most popular online retailers among UK consumers, a new study has revealed.

Insights provider Verdict Research and survey firm Ipsos MORI polled 2,948 adults, discussing ten sectors, from FMCG to electronics and homewares, over the last year.

They found Amazon held an 18.8% market share when it came to the total number of occasions that shoppers visited ecommerce platforms while considering making a purchase.

The site was easily ahead of eBay, which claimed second having logged a figure of 7.6% across the period under assessment.

"One of the main reasons that Amazon gets so much traffic is its dominance in small, discretionary, frequently-purchased products such as books, music, films, video games and clothing," said Matt Piner, senior retail analyst at Verdict.

Supermarket titan Tesco took third for its primary site, registering 5.8%, and a score excluding any activity generated by the music-orientated Tesco Digital service.

Argos, the high-street catalogue chain, posted 4.4% on the same measure, beating, an web-only entertainment specialist, yielding 4.2%.

John Lewis department stores, Asda, another supermarket operator, apparel specialist Next, Marks & Spencer, the food-to-clothing retailer, and electronics firm Currys completed the top ten.

In all, seven members of this cohort were companies boasting a strong bricks and mortar presence, suggesting offline cachet exerts an influence in securing the trust of consumers.

More broadly, the ten leading players accounted for over half the traffic monitored by the study.

This implies both a degree of consolidation but also an ability to personalise the shopping experience and meet the individual needs of buyers, who therefore do not opt for alternative vendors.

Elsewhere, beauty chain Boots fell four positions to 28th year on year, as competitor Superdrug, in a relatively lowly 62nd, climbed 19 spots, a trend resulting from an increasing impetus towards value.

Similarly, high-street apparel group Oasis plummeted 36 places on an annual basis and rapidly-growing internet fashion hub Asos surged to 19th in the rankings.

"Online has the potential to offer a more level playing field than the high-street, as there is potential for smaller retailers to compete with their larger rivals in a way that they are not able to do with physical stores," said Piner.

Data sourced from Verdict Research; additional content by Warc staff