The UK eCommerce market is going through a turbulent time at present, with inflation and the cost of living crisis hitting consumer spending. The contraction of the UK economy is predicted by some to last until at least the middle of 2023.
There is still reason to be optimistic, however. For UK retailers the longer-term picture for online growth, as well as changes in customer preferences, behaviours, and shopping channels, could offer some relief.
Obviously, no-one knows exactly what will happen next year, but being forewarned is forearmed. That’s why we’ve pulled together this selection of 2023 data predictions.
Market and economy
1. Even accounting for the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, UK eCommerce revenue will rise from £137.78 billion to £177.72 billion in 2023, a potential increase of 29%. [Statista|
2. UK customers are returning to stores. In fact, 73% of overall retail sales will still be offline in 2023. (YouGov]
3. eCommerce sales are predicted to account for 20.8% of total retail sales worldwide in 2023 [eMarketer]
4. Europe-wide growth forecasts for online sales revenue are predicted to reach almost £797 billion in 2023, up from £702 billion in 2022. [E-commerce: Europe]
5. Inflation in the UK will hit 18% early next year, it’s highest level since 1976, as consumers count the cost of the deepening energy crisis [Citi Group]
6. The UK economy is forecasted to grow by 1.6% in 2023, slightly higher than the 1.4% growth rate projected for 2022. [The British Chambers of Commerce]
7. Projected direct-to-consumer sales in the UK in 2023 will see furniture and hardware (59%), and sport clothing and equipment (53%) grow most. [Statista]
8. Within the UK’s food and grocery market, online will remain the fastest growing channel in 2023, and reach £17.3 billion, up 52.4% from 2018. [IGD]
9. Europe’s online grocery market will grow by 66% by 2023, adding £17.8 billion [IGD]
10. In 2023, UK fashion revenues will jump from £43.23 billion to £53.58 billion, an increase of 23.9% [Statista]
11. Three years ago, 25% of all customer interactions were automated through AI and machine learning. By 2023, this number is expected to grow to 40%. [Gartner]
12. 46% of UK consumers are unhappy with the empathy shown in their customer service interactions, according to a 2023 consumer trends report by qualtrics.
13. Gartner predicts that eCommerce chatbots will be the main customer service tool for 25% of companies by 2027.
14. A survey of 101 retail industry experts predicts that AR/VR shopping (12.2%) omnichannel experience (8.4%) and social media (7.6%) will be the top retail trends of 2023
15. Mobile sales will account for 73% of all eCommerce sales by 2023.
16. In 2023, social media is expected to generate £26.04 billion in sales, accounting for 20% of the global retail eCommerce sales.
UK eCommerce delivery
17. 85 million parcels were delivered direct-to-consumers in 2022 by manufacturers in the UK. BY 2023, that is forecast to grow 30%, to over 110 million packages. [Statista]
18. UK click and collect turnover will reach £10.31 billion by 2023. [Statista]
19. Cross-border e-commerce sales are projected to surge to £552bn by 2023 [Global voices]
20. According to Shopify research, 39% of brands say shipping and manufacturing delays and shipping costs will continue to be a top supply chain related challenge over the next 12 months.