The internet is the fastest growing channel of the overall UK plumbing & heating products market and has experienced strong growth levels over the last decade. Despite the uncertain economic climate exacerbated by Brexit in the last 3-4 years, the UK internet plumbing & heating market has continued to grow. With lower prices and added convenience, internet retailers have been able to capitalise on changing consumer cross-channel shopping habits with a notable shift towards online purchases.
Going forward, with the COVID-19 crisis, the level of online plumbing & heating sales should continue to experience relatively positive conditions in 2020, seen particularly during lockdown periods when non-essential store-based retailers are required to remain closed. However, sales forecasts are currently difficult to predict, with the impact of the pandemic on confidence levels and the economy not yet known.
The UK has one of the most active online populations in Europe. In 2019, 91% of adults in the UK had recently used the internet (in the last 3 months). With the greater availability of faster broadband connections in recent years, internet users have become accustomed to shopping online. In addition, with the widespread availability of 4G (and roll out of 5G technology), users are frequently ‘shopping ‘on the go’ from a smartphone.
The future performance of the internet plumbing market is likely to be driven by overall trends in online shopping, technological improvements and levels of consumer confidence and expenditure. However, it is likely that the pace of growth will start to slow as this market matures.