Conversions and Trends: The Latest in eCommerce in the UK

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While popular belief assumes that the US and the UK have very distinct practices surrounding online shopping, consumers in the US and in the UK have similar digital purchasing behavior, although they differentiate based on categories. In our recent report, eCommerce in the UK: Inside Key Search & Conversion Trends, Jumpshot discovered that certain categories tend to have a stronger transaction rate in the UK vs. in the US. 

The largest variation was for online grocery transactions. The UK has fully emerged into the online grocery delivery trend. This may be in part due to the dense population in the UK that lends itself as a more appetizing option for consumers. Additionally, we saw differences in other categories, including food, appliances, shoes and women’s clothing. For these categories, consumers in the UK were at times 2x more likely to purchase these in comparison to customers in the US. In contrast, the report details that the US buys more household essentials – i.e. paper towels, toilet paper, and batteries – than the UK. Further, categories where the US outpaced the UK, include pets, health, and auto. 

Amazon’s Reach Across the Pond 

As Amazon is such a key retailer and brand in the US, we were curious to see what strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities were sustained by the giant in the UK. We looked at conversions for Amazon year-over-year, and as one would imagine, Amazon’s conversion rate has maintained a steady pace. Strong categories for Amazon included home and electronics. While Amazon has not yet fully monopolized on categories like beauty, health, and food, Jumpshot’s recent report indicates that there is potential for Amazon to grow in these categories by increasing traffic to product pages. 

Similar to what we have observed in the US, Amazon.co.uk has found a home in utilitarian products that are priced low and competitive and are practical purchases for consumers. These are everyday items that consumers need, like toothpaste, toilet paper, and paper towels that consumers know they need to buy, but don’t want to involve too much brain power in selecting them. Here price becomes the deciding factor and Amazon has this figured out. When it comes to branded items, like Nike products, Amazon is not very strong. For products that tend to be more expensive, Jumpshot data reveals the consumer’s path-to-purchase journey differs and becomes more complex. This includes cross-shopping and price comparing.   

The Changing Scope of Amazon’s Search Tactics

There is no mistake that Google is the leader of search, owning approx 90% of searches online in total. However, Amazon is still strong and growing in the world of search. Jumpshot found that 95% of Amazon product views for both the US and the UK, began with searches on Amazon.  Data also reveals that sponsored search listings are also increasing on Amazon. From January 2018 – July 2019, Amazon product views have increased substantially with no decline in sight. 

Final Thoughts

There is a lot surrounding the trends in online shopping and the eCommerce playing field in the UK, including looking ahead and beyond Amazon. The eCommerce in the UK: Inside Key Search & Conversion Trends report looks at other influential retailers in the UK market. Although Amazon is currently the leader in the UK in eCommerce, several clear challengers are joining the fight like Argos, Tesco, and Asos. Curious how these three are surviving among the giant of Amazon? Read the full report here to gain insights on search keywords that are driving the most traffic from search engines and what the leading onsite search keywords were found across top retailers. 

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