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Secrets To Success: Running a Successful Online Store in the UK

Are you an entrepreneur with an amazing product, but you are not sure how to take your business online? Or maybe you are already running an online store, but it’s not as successful as you’d like it to be. 

Either way, this article is for you! 

Here are the secrets to success when running a successful online store in the UK.

The eCommerce landscape in the UK 

The United Kingdom is the fourth largest market for eCommerce with a revenue of US$117.7 billion in 2021, placing it ahead of Germany and behind Japan.

With an increase of 12%, the UK eCommerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 15% in 2021. 

Just as in the United Kingdom, global eCommerce sales are expected to increase over the next several years.

With new markets emerging, global growth is projected to continue over the next decade. This development will be propelled by East and Southeast Asia where a growing middle class and lagging offline infrastructure create opportunities for significant expansion.

With a yearly growth rate of 3% between 2021 and 2025, the United Kingdom is expected to grow at a slower rate than the global average of 6%.

(Source: eCommerceDB).

There are several reasons for the UK’s strong e-commerce performance, including high levels of internet and mobile penetration, as well as a large and affluent population. 

In addition, UK consumers are early adopters of new technology and trends, which has helped fuel the growth of online shopping.

However, the UK eCommerce landscape is not without its challenges. 

And some of the key challenges in the UK e-commerce market include:

  • Strong competition from domestic and overseas online retailers, particularly and eBay. 
  • High return rates can be as high as 60%, due to poor product quality or fit (Mintel, 2016).
  • Lack of trust in online transactions
  • Lack of customer loyalty
  • High delivery costs
  • Lack of efficient delivery infrastructure
  • The returns process is too complicated
  • Lack of standardization in product descriptions

Top online stores in the UK

The UK eCommerce market is dominated by, which had a revenue of US$17.1 billion in 2021. and are the second- and third-largest stores with US$9.5 billion and US$6.3 billion, respectively. 

The top three stores account for 30% of online revenue in the United Kingdom.

a). is one of the leading online stores in the UK and it offers a wide range of products including books, electronics, fashion, home & garden items, etc.


b). John Lewis

John Lewis is another popular online store in the UK that provides a great shopping experience for its customers with its wide range of products and services.

c). Argos

Argos is an online retailer that offers a wide variety of products ranging from electricals and home furnishings to toys and leisure products.

d). Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s leading retailers that offer high-quality products in a wide range of categories including clothing, food, and home items.


In fact, Tesco is one of the largest supermarkets in the UK and it also has an online store that offers a wide variety of groceries and other household items.

The British consumer: what do they want?

The British consumer is discerning and wants quality products at a fair price. They are also very brand-conscious and loyal to the brands they know and love. 

Running a successful online store in the UK means offering products that meet these criteria.

So, in a nutshell, to be successful, you must also offer excellent customer service and fast, reliable shipping.

In addition, you need to build trust with your customers by providing a safe and secure shopping experience. 

Here’s something else:

The UK consumer is very brand-conscious, being an internet shopper means they are likely to be more aware of the brands they are buying from. This makes them more skeptical about buying products online as they do not know much about the company themselves. 

With that in mind, here are some other things you can do to run a successful online in the UK.

1. A great product

You need a great product to have a successful online store in the UK. 

As we mentioned earlier, customers in the UK are known for being very discerning and they expect high-quality products. If you don’t have a great product, then your online store is likely to fail.

As such, spend time on research to find out what your target customers want and need. 

Then, create a product that meets those needs and wants. By doing this, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful online store in the UK.

2. An easy-to-use website

If you want to have a successful online store in the UK, you need an easy-to-use website. 

You see, a good website will make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for and make a purchase. It should also be easy for you to manage your inventory and orders.

Luckily, there are a few things to keep in mind when creating an easy-to-use website. 

First, make sure the design is clean and uncluttered. Second, make sure the navigation is intuitive and easy to understand. Third, make sure the content is well-written and relevant.

If you follow these simple tips, you can create an easy-to-use website that will help you succeed in the UK online market.

3. Fast and free shipping

Now that you are selling online in the UK, offering fast and free shipping is essential to success. 

Customers are used to quick delivery times and they don’t want to pay any extra for shipping. In order to keep up with the competition, your business needs to offer fast and free shipping.

There are a few different ways to offer this to your clients. 

One option is to use a fulfillment service like Amazon Fulfilment or ebay Fulfilment. This can be expensive, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind and guaranteed quick delivery times.

Another way to offer fast and free shipping is to use a dropshipping service. This means that you don’t have to handle any inventory or shipping yourself – the supplier takes care of everything. 

It can also be a great option if you’re just starting out, but it’s important to find a reputable supplier who can offer facilitate fast shipping.

4. Excellent customer service

An online store in the UK needs excellent customer service to be successful. There are many reasons why this is the case. 

First, customers here in the UK are used to high levels of customer service. They expect to be able to reach a live person when they have a question or concern, and they expect that person to be knowledgeable and helpful. 

Second, your customers in the UK are more likely to shop online if they know they can get help if they need it. They want to know that someone will be there to assist them if something goes wrong with their purchase. 

Finally, your target customers are also more likely to refer friends and family to an online store that provides excellent customer service. Trust me, word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to generate new business, and satisfied customers are always the best source for new leads.

With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to make sure your customers are always happy. 

  • Always be polite and friendly. This will put your customers at ease and make them more likely to do business with you again. 
  • Go above and beyond what the customer expects. If they need help with something, take the time to walk them through it instead of just giving them a quick answer. 
  • Always follow up with the customer after their purchase to make sure they’re satisfied. 

Follow these simple tips to be sure that your customers will always have a positive experience when they do business with you.

5. A strong social media presence

A strong social media presence is essential for the success of an online store in the UK. With over 57.6 million of the population using some form of social media here in the UK, it is a powerful tool that can be used to reach a large audience.

Social media can be used to promote special offers and discounts, which can encourage people to purchase items from your online store. It can also be used to showcase new products and services, or to highlight positive customer reviews.

By regularly posting interesting and engaging content, you can build up a loyal following of customers who are more likely to make purchases from your store. 

So if you are not already using social media to promote your business, now is the time to start!

6. A clear Return Policy

A clear Return Policy is crucial for any online store that wants to win customer trust. Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your Return Policy:

  • Make sure your Return Policy is clear and easy to find on your website. Customers should be able to find it easily and understand it without any confusion.
  • Keep your Return Policy simple and straightforward. Avoid using complex legal jargon that will only frustrate customers.
  • Be reasonable with your return policy conditions. For example, don’t require customers to return items within an unreasonable timeframe or without a valid reason.
  • Offer multiple methods for customers to return items, such as in-store, by mail, or through a third-party service. This will make it more convenient for customers and increase the likelihood of them returning items.
  • Provide clear instructions on how to return items, including where to send them and what information needs to be included.
  • Offer a refund or exchange for returned items, depending on the customer’s preference. This will show that you value your customers and their satisfaction is important to you.
  • Respond to customer inquiries about your Return Policy in a timely and professional manner. This will show that you’re responsive to customer concerns and willing to help them with their return.

7. Secure payment options

This is a no-brainer, your eCommerce website needs a secure payment system, or risk damaging your brand name or even going to jail!

There are many different ways to provide secure payments, and the best option for a store will depend on the type of products being sold and the target market.

One popular option for securing payments is through a third-party provider like PayPal. This service offers buyers protection against fraud and provides an easy way to make payments. 

Another option is to use a credit card gateway, which allows customers to pay with their credit cards directly on your website.

Whatever payment option you choose, it’s vital that you offer secure payment methods to your customers. This will give them peace of mind when making a purchase from your store and will help increase sales.

8. Unique selling proposition

A USP is a feature or benefit that your business offers that no one else does. It’s what makes you stand out from the competition and drives sales. 

For example, if you are selling products that are handmade, your USP could be that your products are made with love and attention to detail. This would be appealing to customers who appreciate quality craftsmanship. 

It doesn’t have to be something huge. 

Another example of focus on customer service. Offering exceptional customer service will make your business stand out from the rest. In today’s digital age, customers expect fast responses and helpfulness when they need it most.

If you can provide this, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. 

Creating a successful USP for your eCommerce business will take some time and effort, but it’s worth it. Once you have a solid USP, promoting your business will be much easier.

9. Continuous improvement

In order to have a successful online store here in the UK, it is important to continuously improve. This means always looking for ways to improve the customer experience, the products and services offered, and the overall operation of the business. 

By constantly striving to improve, businesses can ensure that they are providing the best possible experience for their customers and stay ahead of the competition.

There are a few key areas where businesses should focus their efforts on when it comes to continuous improvement. 

One area is customer service. It is important to always be looking for ways to improve customer service, whether that means responding to inquiries quickly or offering new features or services that make life easier for customers.

Another key area is product quality. Businesses should constantly be evaluating their products and looking for ways to improve them. This could mean making changes to the manufacturing process, using different materials, or redesigning products altogether. 

10. Passion!

Last but definitely not least, you need passion! Passion for your product, passion for your customers, and passion for your business will help you overcome any obstacle and achieve success.

Passion is what will drive you to continue working on your online store even when things are tough. It is what will inspire you to come up with new ideas and find new ways to reach your customers. 

So if you’re looking for the secret to success in running an online store in the UK, make sure you have passion for what you’re doing. With passion, anything is possible. 

Final thoughts

As the world increasingly moves online, more and more businesses are opening up shop on the internet. This is especially true in the United Kingdom, where internet usage is high and e-commerce is booming. 

Running a successful online store in the UK can be a great way to tap into this growing market.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to run a successful online store in the UK. 

First, make sure you have a good selection of products that will appeal to your target market. Second, ensure that your website is easy to use and navigate; customers should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and without any hassle. 

Finally, provide excellent customer service; this will help you build a loyal customer base who will keep coming back to your site.