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B2C ecommerce sales in the UK grew by almost 16% in 2016, according to a January 2017 Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and Capgemini report. That's among the highest growth rates there in the last five years.
While 2013 saw the highest growth rate in the past five years—16.5% ecommerce sales growth—more recent years saw a steady decrease. In 2014, ecommerce grew by 14%, while in 2015 sales grew by just 10.6%.
The higher figure in 2016 might indicate a growing economy, or it might simply indicate that people are shopping online more but in person less, without really buying more overall.
What's more, even if these figures do indicate a general uptick sales, Brexit could well puncture consume confidence and halt growth.
In total, UK ecommerce sales grew from £115 billion ($175.74 billion) in 2015 to £133 billion ($203.26 billion) in 2016.
Generally, the UK has a very strong ecommerce economy in relation to other countries in Europe. For an historical reference, according to a May 2016 Ecommerce Foundation (formerly Ecommerce Europe) report, 30% of total sales in the UK were ecommerce in 2014, almost twice that of the proportion of ecommerce in Germany. By 2015, that figure for the UK had jumped to 34.5%, over 20% more than that year's closest competitor, France.
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