Ecommerce is expected to account for 38% of all UK chain retail sales by 2026, according to a new report.

Data and insights specialist Edge by Ascential said shoppers will continue to buy online post-pandemic. In the UK in 2019, ecommerce share of chain retail sales stood at about a fifth (21%), the company’s Future Retail Disruption Report for 2021-2022 said. By the end of 2020, this had grown to 29% and in 2021 it is 32%.

Over the next five years, Edge predicts that ecommerce will account for two thirds of Britain’s chain retail sales growth (66%) and by 2026 online shopping will account for 38% of the country’s chain retail sales.

Xian Wang, VP, Edge Retail Insight, said: “Every six months or so we revisit our set of STEIP (Society; Economy; Policy, Technology and Industry) drivers of change to assess the implications for the retail landscape over the next one, three and five years.

“Retailers are innovating and investing to offer a better fulfilment experience to their customers and the last mile has become a key battleground to lock in shopper loyalty. UK retailers have been trialling speedy delivery initiatives (Tesco) and partnering with delivery intermediaries (Morrisons) to raise their game and compete with the likes of Amazon, which seems keen to become a serious rival in UK grocery in 2022.”