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Top eCommerce companies in the UK in 2022

Bharath Vittal
Bharath Vittal
Apr 6, 2022
7
Min Read

The UK has always been a retail capital for iconic brands, and in 2022, it has overtaken the rest of Europe as a bustling hub for eCommerce.

For every  £10 spent in the UK, £3 comes from online sales. Add to that international sales, and this figure rises even higher. 

The pandemic, no doubt, also accelerated consumer behavior change from offline to online shopping. 2020 saw the inception of 35,589 new eCommerce companies in the UK, thus growing the supply side of the eCommerce business.

As the competition grew steeper, 15 players have emerged as the top eCommerce companies in the UK in 2022. These platforms have leveraged technology to deliver a superior, personalized consumer experience and stay ahead of the curve.

Here's a list of eCommerce companies in the UK that are blazing new trails and redefining the face of eCommerce as we know it.  

1. Amazon

In terms of revenues, Amazon has emerged as one of the biggest eCommerce companies in the UK in 2022.

Even in 2020, Amazon was way ahead of its competitors with USD 14.6B in revenues, followed by Tesco at USD 7589M.

In 2021, Amazon UK revenues touched £31,914M, making it the second-largest market for the retailer behind Germany.

Amazon's wide spectrum of categories, its convenience in terms of service, and competitive pricing, have made it an eCommerce market leader. 

Monthly unique visitors: 93,336,684
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $5B-$10B

2. eBay

eBay began its journey as an online auction platform but now offers a wide range of B2B and B2C products.

In 2020, it generated USD 1.6B , with a flat trajectory of growth. The UK is an important market for eBay because about 25% of eBay's total sellers reside in the UK; this is its second-largest group after the US. 

Around 20% of the products on eBay are second-hand, thus giving a boost to the pre-loved markets around the world. 

Monthly unique visitors: 93,336,684
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $5B-$10B

3. Tesco

Tesco is a homegrown multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer. One of the best online stores in the UK, Tesco has emerged as the third-largest retailer in the world.

The company has built a chain of hypermarkets, supermarkets, metro and express shops, and fuel stations. It offers its own line of products across categories like food, beverages, clothing, home, financial services, and mobile.

Tesco clocked eCommerce sales of USD 10.BM in 2021. Since 2019, the company's online sales have risen by over 50%. 

Monthly unique visitors: 1,795,371
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $1B-$5B

4. Argos 

This is one of the UK's largest merchandise retailers, with physical stores and a fast-growing online presence. In 2020, Argos recorded revenues of USD 5.2B, a steep rise since 2019.

It is home to brands like Challenge, Pro-fitness, Grosvenor, Opticom, Steamworks, and Acoustic solutions.

The company was acquired by Sainsbury international's supermarket chain in 2016. Since then, Argos has closed down several physical stores and is growing its online retail operations. 

Monthly unique visitors: 5,741,080
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $5B-$10B

5. Next

This is one of the UK's oldest multinational retailers, established in 1864. Next offers clothing, footwear, and home products and owns 500 stores in the UK.

The company also has its own brand called Lipsy, which manufactures and retails women's and children's apparel, accessories, beauty products, and homeware. 

In 2020, Next bought a majority stake in Victoria's Secret and now markets their products.

In 2021, Next generated revenues of £2368M through online sales, its highest yet. 

Monthly unique visitors: 2,081,742
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $1B-$5B

6. Sainsbury's

This is the UK's second-largest supermarket retailer, established as early as 1869. It started with fresh food and packaged items and slowly expanded across the full spectrum of food products.

The company underwent a major rebranding in 1999, and today, the main company has three divisions - Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd, Sainbury's Bank, and Argos, which it acquired in 2016. 

It clocked revenues of £2860M in 2020-2021.

Monthly unique visitors: 401,034
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $1B-$5B

7. Asos

One of the world's most popular fashion and cosmetic retailers, Asos was an early entrant into the online retail space.

In 2010, the platform expanded operations in Europe, Australia, Russia, and China, and today, it ships to 196 countries.

Asos retails 850 brands offering menswear, womenswear, jewelry, footwear, beauty products, and accessories, including Asos' own fashion labels.

The platform also features household appliances and furniture. In 2021, Asos' retail sales reached £2104M. The brand has a strong millennial and Gen Z following. 

Monthly unique visitors: 5,741,080
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $5B-$10B

8. Marks and Spencer

One of the UK's most prominent department stores and grocery retailers, the brand opened its first store in 1884. The brand has over 1000 physical stores in the UK, and around 472 stores around the globe, offering general merchandise and food products.

In 2021, the business recorded revenues of £9166.9M, a slight dip from earlier years. However, its consumers favor the brand due to its quality, especially in the food categories.

The brand launched its first online store in 1999 and since then has spread its online presence to over 40 countries. 

Monthly unique visitors: 2,030,159
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $1B-$5B

9. B&Q

B And Q offers DIY solutions in the home improvement retail category. It is a part of the home improvement retail company Kingfisher. 

The company is a one-stop shop, offering a wide range of products in building and hardware, home and furniture, tools and equipment, lighting and electrical, painting and decoration, and heating and plumbing.

It has over 300 physical stores and is the second-largest DIY retailer in the UK. The company generated a revenue of over £3200M in 2019-2020. 

Monthly unique visitors: 577,569
Order Volume: 10,000-50,000
Web Sales: $250M-$500M

10. Asda

Asda is a British supermarket chain established in 1949. Acquired by Walmart in 1990, it went on to become one of the largest chains in the UK. It was further acquired by the Issa brothers and TDA capital, though Walmart continues to have an equity stake.

Besides food products, the company has launched multiple brands and expanded into categories like clothing, health, toys, home electronics, homewares, financial services, and beauty products. 

The company owns the clothing brand George, which also retails through Walmart. Asda is the 8th most popular supermarket chain in the UK. 

Monthly unique visitors: 2,089,749
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $1B-$5B

11. Screwfix

Launched in 1979, this multichannel retailer of trade tools, accessories, and hardware products is the largest in its category in the United Kingdom. In 1999, it was acquired by Kingfisher PLC.

Screwfix is one of the few retailers still opening physical stores, largely due to the success of its Click and Collect service, which allows customers to pay online and collect orders within minutes from their local store.

These services enabled the brand to increase sales by 250 percent. In 2020-2021, the company generated £2000M in sales.  

Monthly unique visitors: 573,486
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales:  $250M-$500M

12. Currys  

This is one of the UK's largest and only household electrical retailers, though it started out by selling bicycles in 1927. The company has undergone multiple reorganizations after being acquired by Dixon's in 1984.

In 2021, Curry's online sales generated global revenues of USD 4.9B. It is also the fifth-largest online retailer in the UK as of 2020.

The company is unique because it has limited competition in its niche and is a market leader in the household electrical retailer category. 

Monthly unique visitors: 1,886,922
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $1B-$5B

13. Boots

Boots UK is a British health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain with a reach that expands to Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Thailand, and Indonesia. 

The company has an offline presence that includes pharmacies and beauty and health retail stores in the UK and Ireland, which also offer optician and hearing care services.  

From 2015 to 2021, their number of stores declined from 2,510 to 2,276, with more focus on online retail.

Boots UK saw an increase in retail sales by 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021. 

Monthly unique visitors: 2,011,314
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $250M-$500M

14. Very  

British retailer Very was launched in 2009 by the Shop Direct Group. It offers clothing, home accessories, toys, and games.

Very was earlier known as Littlewoods Direct, which started out as a shopping catalog and retail business. 

Very saw a significant increase in sales from 2016 to 2020, while revenues by Littlewoods simultaneously decreased. In 2021, the company recorded eCommerce net sales of USD 2.1B.  

Monthly unique visitors: 599,885
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $1B-$5B

15. SportsDirect  

Sports Direct was founded in 1982 and has emerged as Britain's largest sporting goods retailer. It operates multiple brands in the sports, fitness, fashion, and lifestyle categories.

Sportsdirect has a number of offline stores and a growing online presence. Its parent company, the Frasers Group, owns multiple brands. 

In 2021, Frasers recorded revenues of £3600M. With the decline of physical stores, Sportsdirect is now focusing more on building its online capabilities.

Monthly unique visitors: 1,689,140
Order Volume: >50,000
Web Sales: $500M-$1B

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