Retail Week Prospect’s league table of the largest retailers by UK online sales does not throw up many surprises, with Amazon continuing to lead the way, well ahead of Tesco.
|Rank||Retailer||2015/16 UK online revenues (£m)||Notes|
|1||Amazon||4,900||Estimated turnover through Amazon.co.uk|
|6||Shop Direct||1,406||Shop Direct retail sales|
|11||M&S||792||Includes small element of international ecommerce|
|13||N Brown||563||Includes small element of international ecommerce|
|14||AO.com||541||Sales through AO website and third-party branded sites|
A number of pure-plays have been steadily gaining ground in recent years, with Ocado now just inside the top 10 and Asos and Ao.com also having made the table.
But underlining the strength of the multichannel retail model, the largest contingent of retailers are those that have managed to grow a substantial online business by leveraging their store networks.
Retailers such as John Lewis may generate £1.7bn of online sales, but over 40% of those sales were collected in its stores. For Argos – which comes in third place – this percentage is nearly 75%.
Sainsbury’s Argos combined
This ranking was for the 2015/16 financial year and prior to Sainsbury’s acquisition of Argos. However, if their online sales were combined it would propel Sainsbury’s Argos into second place, just ahead of Tesco.
Since it only looks at UK ecommerce turnover, some notable pure-plays with a large international focus missed out on making the top 20.
For instance, the transactional value of sales through Farfetch totalled £302.1m over the period, while Boohoo had overall sales of just under £200m.
All of the big four plus Waitrose have made it inside the top 20, with Morrisons in particular making up ground as it benefits from its partnership with Ocado.
However, online still only accounted for just under 2% of its overall sales, while this is over 7% for Tesco.
Sales are ex-VAT for the 2015/16 financial year and for the UK only. Retailers still do not consistently report online sales figures from year to year, with Retail Week Prospect having to estimate missing data.