A deal for Build.com to acquire web-only small appliances merchant Living Direct has been in active negotiation, sources tell Internet Retailer.
Online shoppers in the U.K. spent 91 billion pounds (US$148.78 billion) last year, up 16% from 2012. Those shoppers more often are buying via tablets and smartphones—and often picking up their web orders inside stores.
Online shoppers in the United Kingdom spent 91 billion pounds (US$148.78 billion) in 2013, up 16% from their e-commerce spending in 2012, according to the figures released today by technology consultancy Capgemini and U.K. e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group, or IMRG.
That increase includes an 18% year-over-year increase in e-retail spending in December, to 11 billion pounds (US$17.98 billion).
"With online shopping having become part of our everyday lives, the growth levels we are seeing in the e-retail market won't be slowing down any time soon,” says Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG.
For 2014, the two firms predict that e-commerce spending in the United Kingdom will increase by 17% year over year, hitting 107 billion pounds (US$174.98 billion). For 2013, IMRG and Capgemini had forecast 12% year-over-year growth, four percentage points lower than the final estimate.
The United Kingdom is the largest e-commerce market in Europe, and four of the top 10 European e-retailers are based in the U.K., according to the Europe 500, Internet Retailer’s ranking of the region’s leading web merchants.
The two organizations also report that:
• U.K. sales via smartphones and tablets increased 138% year over year in 2013. 82% of mobile sales came from tablets.
• Smartphones sales increased 186% year over year, while tablets sales increased 131%.
• In December, 27% of all online sales stemmed from mobile devices, which equates to nearly 3 billion pounds (US$4.90 billion). That represents an approximately 100% increase from the year before.
• Also in December, online sales of clothing increased 18% year over year, with consumer electronic sales growing by 18%—thanks in part to sales of relatively cheap tablets, iPhones and video game devices.
• Consumers purchasing products online and picking them up inside stores now account for 25% of sales for bricks-and-mortar retailers in the United Kingdom.