Online purchases represent £1 trillion of global sales per year. This is why we have seen a huge surge in the number of professionals developing and launching eCommerce websites.

Whether you have already launched an eCommerce platform for the UK marketplace or are considering entering that space, having a deep understanding of British consumers and their buying behaviours will only serve as an advantage.

While you may believe you have the next big product that everyone will buy, getting to grips with buying behaviours will allow you to tailor your service and give your brand the best chance of commercial success.

Below, we look at the most purchased products bought online by UK consumers. These statistics have been sourced from a recent study conducted by FedEx.


Clothing is the most-purchased item by online shoppers, with more than 60% of all consumers buying their clothes on the internet. This is why if you are looking for ideas of what to sell online, clothing is certainly worth considering.  


Although you would have thought the number of people buying books would be on a downward trajectory, books are a highly popular item for online shoppers. 53% of consumers in the UK buy their books online. Popular books include physical hardbacks, paperbacks, audiobooks and digital books. 


Trainers, brogues, high heels and pumps make up a huge proportion of online sales. In fact, 46% of shoppers decide to purchase their footwear via eCommerce platforms


The 4th most-purchased product category is music. With the demise of high street stores such as HMV, consumers have arguably had no choice but to explore online vendors. The same applies to DVDs and videos. While slowly being phased out due to downloading and streaming options, there is still a large community of shoppers seeking these products. 

Consumer electronics 

32% of consumers in the UK source their electronics via online shopping sites. This includes items such as TVs, smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.

Cosmetics and beauty products 

The online cosmetics and beauty industry is booming, especially in the UK. Research from FedEx uncovered that 28% of UK adults load up their browsers when looking to stock up on cosmetics and beauty products. From well known online outlets to independent brands, the options available to men and women are endless. 


Household appliances make up a significant proportion of online sales processed in the UK. The most regularly purchased items in this category include washing machines, tumble dryers, refrigerators and hoovers. 

So, there you have it, the most common purchases made online by UK shoppers. We hope this has given you some insight into online shopping behaviours and the British eCommerce landscape.