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.

Top 20 online retailers

RankRetailer2015/16 UK online revenues (£m)Notes
1 Amazon 4,900 Estimated turnover through Amazon.co.uk
2 Tesco 3,100 Estimate
3 Argos 2,017  
4 John Lewis 1,716  
5 Dixons Carphone 1,500 Estimate
6 Shop Direct 1,406 Shop Direct retail sales
7 Next 1,300 Estimate
Sainsbury’s 1,300 Estimate
9 Asda 1,250 Estimate
10 Ocado 1,172 Retail sales
11 M&S 792 Includes small element of international ecommerce
12 Asos  604  
13 N Brown  563 Includes small element of international ecommerce
14 AO.com 541 Sales through AO website and third-party branded sites
15 Screwfix 420 Estimate
16 Debenhams  380 Estimate
17 Sports Direct 375 Estimate
18 Waitrose 334  
19 Morrisons 300 Estimate
20 Apple 235 Estimate 

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.

Methodology

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.