Does the increase in E-Commerce correlate to an increased social media presence?

Year on year, the UK’s online spending has grown substantially each year. In 2010 Britain spent £58.8bn, this grew too £68.2bn in 2011. 2012, the figure had reached £78bn. To put these statistics into national relation, an individual Brit will spend an average of £1,083 online every year (RealBusiness, 2013).

In 2013, 72% of all adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008 (ONS, 2013).


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This diagram shows the growing role E-commerce has within all UK retail transactions, growing from 4.2% in 2008 to a peak of 10.8% during the Christmas of 2012. The increase in social media presence shown in the diagram above shows a correlation with an increase in E-commerce sales.

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Both of these rising statistics could be down to the increase in access to internet within the UK and rises in the amount of daily computer use as can be seen from the graph above.

Eventhough Facebook’s user-base growth has begun plateau, E-commerce is continuing to grow at a rate of approximately 20% per year. This throws into question the correlation between social media and E-commerce. This theory can be tested in further years if social media growth continues to plateau or decline. However, I believe that there is a minor correlation, but there is no dependency on social media for e-commerce to continue growing.

To conclude, there is a high correlation between social media presence and online retail sales, however these both correlate to the increasing amount of people that now use their computer daily. Therefore, access to technology is driving both variables upwards with ‘21 million UK households having access to the internet, and 70% of the population using a computer daily’ (ONS, 2013). The correlation between technology and social media presence will be explained in full detail in the next blog.



ONS, 2013, Internet Access – Households and Individuals, Available at: [Accessed 09 April 2014].

White, S, 2014. Social Media Growth 2006 to 2011 | D. Steven White. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 01 May 2014].

RealBusiness, 2013, Future of Shopping.  Available at: [Accessed 08 April 2014].



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