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Ovum undertook a study of 100 UK merchants to investigate the state of online commerce and better understand how the industry perceives its own challenges in 2017 and into 2018.


  • The importance of digital channels to commerce in the UK continues to grow at a rapid pace. Among the merchants surveyed, mobile channels are expected to account for a sevenfold increase in sales between 2015 and 2019.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses how UK merchants are adapting to some of the challenges they face in remaining competitive in the online space.
  • Learn how reducing payment friction requires new forms of innovation, such as lines of consumer credit at the online checkout.

Key questions answered

  • How important are millennials to e-commerce today? What proportion of sales do they account for, and what impact is this having on investment strategies?
  • How important are online returns capabilities? Do larger firms have any advantages over smaller ones?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Retail pressure across all channels

  • Digital channels are key to success
  • Millennials and Generation Z now make up a majority of online shoppers

Improving payments in the online experience is a must to reduce friction

  • A frictionless checkout is more critical than ever
  • 76% of retailers want to offer new financing options online

Returns are a battleground in driving online sales

  • Free returns increase online sales but place pressure on merchant margins


  • Methodology
  • Author

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