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Online Retail in the UK: Digital Commerce Success Stories

If one has to do an analysis of the UK’s retail industry in recent times, an upsurge in online sales will be seen across sectors.

According to the UK Office of National Statistics, £7bn was spent in each week of April by retail consumers. Of this 13.4%, or £886.6m, was spent online. When compared to the same time last year, this is a 9.3% increase in online sales.

The biggest beneficiaries of this growth have been household goods merchants, who saw ecommerce sales grow by over a third (33.6%), and department stores (21.1%).

This positive turn can be seen in the success enjoyed by these leading UK brands:

Mothercare’s digital transformation from loss to profit

World renowned babies and mothers goods retailer Mothercare was in the red for the last four years, reporting loss upon loss.

But after two years of a series of efforts, including adopting a ‘digital first’ strategy that involved installing iPads and interactive screens in stores to share demos, customer reviews and allow access to a broader product range, Mothercare has reported a 51% increase in underlying pre-tax profits from the previous year of £19.6m.

  • Online sales for the brand grew by 15%,
  • The number of orders placed in the store via iPads grew by 25% and now accounts for 41% of all online sales,
  • Mobile commerce grew fast and by year-end accounted for 58% of the online sales that were from home or outside the store network,
  • About a third of all online orders were picked up via click and collect.


Marks & Spencer’s online boost to falling profits

Even though the world-famous British brand witnessed overall slow growth, online sales bucked the trend with 23.4% growth and a record 7.4m customers who clicked to buy.

According to the brand, “mobile continued to be its fastest-growing sales channel, while shoppers increasingly use more than one device when they buy.”


Moss Bros’ multichannel success

UK’s leading men’s formal wear hire and retail business Moss Bros have enjoyed a significant increase in sale and profits thanks to “the ongoing improvement in our customer offer and the improvement in our store and online environments.”

With measures such investment in infrastructure for multichannel retail, integration of CRM tools and implementation of click-and-collect, Moss Bros has recently reported

  • A 9.7% increase in ecommerce sales in the opening quarter of its financial year,
  • Online transactions accounted for 10.7% of total sales in this period,
  • Group revenue was up by 5.5% year on year to reach £121.1 million


Almost in response to these compelling figures, luxury brand Burberry recently announced a 3-year plan to boost business with the omnichannel experience as its focus. Burberry plans to:

  • Relaunch its burberry.com website,
  • Introduce a customer app that will include mobile checkout and improve customer connectivity in its pursuit of omnichannel excellence,
  • Boost conversion, especially on mobile, while improving the customer experience across online and offline sales channels,
  • Actively foster its sales through third-party retailers, both online and offline, since it expects growth to come from that area, as well as through social commerce.


Our clients are reaping the benefits of investing in omnichannel infrastructure too. Read about the case studies of developing omnichannel here:


Embitel is a certified hybris Silver Partner, Magento Silver Solution Partner & Magento 2 Trained Solution Partner.


What is multichannel retail?

Multichannel retailing is a marketing strategy that offers customers a choice of ways to buy products … purchases from a store, purchases from a website, telephone ordering, mail orders, interactive television, catalog ordering and comparison shopping sites.

Source: smallbusiness.chron.com

What is omnichannel retail?

Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store.

Source: searchcio.techtarget.com


About the Author

Vaibhav is a digital-marketing professional with a deep-rooted interest in everything automotive. Regular collaborations with automotive tech guys keep him apprised of all new trends in the automotive industry. Besides digital marketing, Vaibhav is fond of writing and music.

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