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Matthew Dodd, senior VP of research and analytics EMEA, Nielsen

UK ecommerce is in rude health. More than eight out of ten of the active online population (31.6m people) visited at least one of the UK’s top 200 ecommerce sites in August, according to Nielsen’s latest Ecommerce Landscape Report. What’s more, 16% of those visits ended in a purchase, with 89m transactions resulting from the month’s 546m shopping visits.

Conversion rates for the top 200 ecommerce sites showed strong performances from Domino’s Pizza (where 27% of visits resulted in a transaction), Amazon (20%), Interflora (20%) and QVC (17%). Cut by category, the research found decent conversion rates for catalogue clothing sites (Next, Freemans, Kaleidoscope and Bon Prix), all between 9% and 15%, whereas supermarkets (Asda, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco) grouped a little lower.

When it comes to spend, the most lucrative ecommerce category is electronic equipment. On average, respondents from our 8,500 sample spent more on electronic goods – £156 each – than any other category. Amazon was visited by 36% of people shopping for electronics. FMCG shopping was the next biggest-spending category, with people purchasing on average £129 of groceries online in the month. Here Tesco dominates with 62% of online grocery shoppers visiting it in August, well ahead of Asda (25%) and Sainsbury (19%).

UKOM/Nielsen data shows that the most popular ecommerce site is Ebay, with 17.7m unique UK visitors in August. This puts it ahead of Amazon, Apple, Tesco and Argos. However, second-placed Amazon is closing fast, growing at four times the rate of Ebay, narrowing a gap over the 12 months to August from 2.2m visitors to just 1.3m.

Of the top 200 ecommerce sites, Sony Online Entertainment experienced the biggest audience growth, increasing its visitor numbers more than six times between August 2009 and August 2010.

Looking at attitudes, the main reason for shopping online was cheaper prices, cited by 57% of respondents, and the ability to shop at any time (32%). An uncompromising 29% said not having to deal with sales staff was one of their three biggest motivators.
We’ll see how the picture develops in our Christmas report.

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Published 18 November, 2010 by NMA Staff

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