Table of Contents
The online industry is going from strength to strength around the world, and in the UK, there are hundreds of thousands of businesses that use the internet to provide goods or services – some as part of a physical business, and others that are exclusively online.
As we move further into the 21st Century, it is becoming increasingly common for us to complete lots of transactions and interactions online, things that we would not have considered doing using the internet even a decade ago – we can almost survive inside our homes with no need for physical interaction.
Today, from the moment you get up to when you finally turn in for the night, you can get everything you need from the internet. Breakfast can be delivered with a piping hot cup of barista-made coffee. You can do your grocery shopping online and then log into a video conference to start a work meeting. You can connect with friends on various social media platforms.
You can get your lunchtime workout on by subscribing to an online fitness guru or connect your Peloton bike and virtually cycle anywhere in the world. If you fancy a gourmet dinner, you can find recipes and even cooking tutorials online, or you can order a meal prep kit that comes with everything you need to make a balanced and optimised meal. To relax in the evening, you can hook up to one of the streaming services, and binge-watch the latest smash hit series or get a movie fresh out of the theatres.
This online growth may have been boosted in the last couple of years through global issues, but it is something that could already be considered a huge growth industry – and in the UK, the three biggest online industries include online shopping, online gaming, and streaming.
UK’s Top Online Industries
Almost every single service you can think of is now available through an online transaction, and you can buy pretty much anything over the Internet these days. From handmade crafts on Etsy to, well, pretty much anything on Amazon, buying material goods online has become the norm.
This has grown exponentially in the last decade for many reasons, but the biggest one is a combination of smartphone availability and internet penetration. Globally, more people own a smartphone than a PC or a laptop, and with the extensive data provided that the rollout of 5G has created, you don’t need to be connected to Wi-Fi or have internet cables to go online.
Major high street stores have started opening online shops where the same items can be bought and delivered to your home. Clothes, electronics, takeaways, and groceries are among the top sellers, as well as beauty items and health products.
The eCommerce industry is currently valued at $3.3 trillion globally, and 22% of retail sales take place online. By 2026, that number is estimated to reach 27%. Why are you waiting? Start your eCommerce business now and sell the products.
Video games have become increasingly popular since the transition online, with more players now taking part in online gaming. Mobile games are one of the most popular with players being able to quickly and conveniently access their favourite gaming titles. All you need is good gaming laptops.
Various video gaming niches are available online, including online casino games.
Going to the casino is a night out to remember for most people, and it is something that needs a bit of planning in many cases because there may be travel involved – not many towns or even cities in the UK have a land-based casino.
However, the online casino makes that a moot point. We can access our favourite casino games from the comfort of our own homes thanks to the internet – and mobile phones have made it even more convenient.
Now, players can head to one of the many live casinos available online and interact with a real-life dealer when playing a game of roulette, similar to the experience of a land-based casino.
The online casino market is growing, too. Experts suggest that it is going to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.7% to 2030, and predictions suggest that by 2028 the industry could be worth $150 billion globally.
High-speed internet connection and high-resolution televisions have combined to provide us with the opportunity to watch blockbuster movies and popular TV shows from the comfort of our own homes – and that is why streaming services are such a big deal.
The cable and ‘regular’ TV viewership is declining – nobody wants to watch live TV unless it is a huge sports match or the finale of a reality show – and that means that more and more people are choosing to stream their entertainment. The choice of content is growing, too – now it is not only movies and TV shows, but also podcasts, music, documentaries, and even West End theatre shows.
91% of Brits said that they have used a streaming service in the last 12 months, and 58% are subscribed to at least one service, with Netflix still on top in terms of popularity (62%), followed by Amazon Prime Video (48%) and Disney+ (33%).
Online industries are not going anywhere, and even as we see our high streets decimated to contain only nail salons and barbers, we will continue to make use of the convenience and speed of internet business.