E-consultancy estimates that the UK market for e-commerce solutions will be worth around £400m this year, up from £268m when we last valued the market in 2005.

According to our E-commerce Platforms Buyer’s Guide 2007, the market has continued to show healthy growth over the last two years, growing by an estimated 22% in 2006. We estimate that the same 22% growth rate will apply in 2007.

Drivers of market growth include:

  • Major retailers driving e-commerce with new and relaunched websites.
    The online success of big companies like Tesco has inspired other big retailers, such as M&S, to revamp their existing websites, or to sell online for the first time, as in the case of Ikea.

    Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are also playing their part, with more and more moving sales online.

  • Buyers seek marketing-led platforms and better user experience.
    Online retailers now understand that e-commerce platforms are about much more than simply facilitating transactions online. Retailers are realising the benefits of a marketing focus, rather than just thinking about technology for technology’s sake. 

    There is also more focus on the user experience. An E-consultancy / Bunnyfoot survey carried out this year found that 72% of UK firms were planning to increase their usability budget over the next year, more than for any other area of digital marketing.

    More than half of respondents to the survey said that improved conversion rates and brand perceptions were a major benefit of usability investment.

  • Retailers tap into ‘social commerce’ to increase sales
    A 2007 survey conducted by E-consultancy and Bazaarvoice found that more than half of all online sellers (51%) consider user-generated content to be either extremely important or very important to company strategy over the next year.

    When thinking about their e-commerce strategy, retailers need to consider carefully how product reviews and UGC will fit into this, and whether this functionality is something they will develop themselves or outsource to a third party.

The E-commerce Platforms Buyer’s Guide 2007 provides detail on the issues and trends affecting this sector, with a focus on how to select the right platform and profiles of 20 leading UK vendors.

The 20 suppliers profiled are:

Actinic, ATG, CommerceNow, e-InBusiness, Ekm Systems, Emojo, ePages, Fresca, hybris, IBM (WebSphere), LavaSuite, Magicalia, Maginus, Moneyspyder, Pindar Screen Pages, Shopcreator, Snow Valley, Summit Media, Truition and Venda.