Revealed: Great Britain’s online shopping hotspots – and London is not great


Some places are slower online than others

The UK’s online shopping hotspots have been revealed and – spoiler alert – London isn’t at the top.

Payments provider Mollie analyzed a list of 60 locations and ranked them based on a number of factors to determine where shoppers are most likely to spend money — and where businesses should focus their marketing efforts to drive sales.

Home to some of the UK’s fastest broadband speeds, as well as one of the lowest numbers of postal and courier complaints in the last year, Reading – which has pushed London to the top as an online shopping hotspot.

Reading also has the third-highest average salary (£36,500) and ranks in the top 10 overall in five of the six factors.

Each location was ranked based on the following: number of store closures, strength of major roads, offline spend, postage and courier complaints, broadband speed, and average salary before an overall position was awarded.

Also making the top five are Glasgow – which has the second most unpopular high street of any location analyzed – Slough and Milton Keynes.

At the bottom of the table are Sunderland, Barnsley and Plymouth, where residents are more likely to go to a brick-and-mortar store. According to the data, Sunderland has the fewest business closures but the second lowest average salary at £24,961.

Josh Guthrie, Mollie’s UK Country Manager, comments: “With Covid-19 accelerating the shift to online shopping, businesses have never had a better opportunity to grow. At the same time, the competition for businesses to attract and connect with consumers is fiercer than ever.

“We wanted to collect this data not only to highlight the areas of the UK most likely to shop digitally, but to give businesses guidance on where to focus their marketing efforts more.”

Industry Statistics Figures released last week show UK visitor numbers fell by 17.1% in January, up 1.5 percentage points on December.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, commented: “It’s been a slow start to 2022, with only modest improvements in UK footfall despite a significant drop in Covid cases. In fact, quality over quantity in January; Fewer people visited retail parks and malls, but those who did visited more stores at each location.

“Even as restrictions are eased, retail footfall will not return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon. This poses a challenge for many inner-city and inner-city retailers, who continue to be impacted by reduced commuting. However, opportunities remain; innovative retailers are responding to new consumer behaviors by investing in physical and digital offerings to attract new customers.”

The official statistics show that internet sale currently account for 27.7% of total retail sales.


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