4th August 2021

Business Boom: Top 10 Fastest-Growing Sectors in the UK

Seven of the 10 industries projected to grow fastest this year are heavily centred around online retail.

Lockdown is over, but business decision-makers predict digital self-service and remote interactions are set to become the norm. Rising ecommerce figures back this up: online retail made up 14% of all global sales in 2019, and it’s set to account for 20% of sales this year.

As the shift to online shopping continues, discover some of the fastest growing sectors across the country.

Smashing It! Sectors with the Highest Revenue Growth in 2021

Most of the fastest-growing industries were on an upward trajectory, but the pandemic accelerated demand across the board. Here’s how much these high performers set to grow revenue this year.

  • Sector: Safety equipment & supplies
  • Predicted to grow: 78%
  • Why: Demand for PPE surged during the outbreak and continues to be highly sought after


  • Sector: Online food orders and delivery
  • Predicted to grow: 45%
  • Why: Everyone wanted takeaway when restaurants and pubs closed, and loads of new competitors have joined the sector


  • Sector: Bicycle retail
  • Predicted to grow: 43%
  • Why: One million more cyclists hit the road in 2020 as people bought bikes to avoid using overcrowded public transport and get fitter too


  • Sector: Online booze
  • Predicted to grow: 42%
  • Why: Adoption of online shopping is high, and this has naturally caused demand for online access to increase


  • Sector: Ecommerce
  • Predicted to grow: 40%
  • Why: Closure of brick-and-mortar retailers accelerated the shift to online, with more competitors joining the market


  • Sector: Precious metals production
  • Predicted to grow: 40%
  • Why: Investors purchased precious metals to protect their wealth during the pandemic


  • Sector: Online greeting cards
  • Predicted to grow: 37%
  • Why: People found ways to share the love during lockdown


  • Sector: Video streaming
  • Predicted to grow: 33%
  • Why: Millions of new subscribers joined Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ to combat boredom in lockdown


  • Sector: Language learning software
  • Predicted to grow: 31%
  • Why: Demand grew as people self-isolated and schools shut down


  • Sector: Online vitamins
  • Predicted to grow: 30%
  • Why: Everyone wants an immune boost, with a surge in demand for Vitamin C and D


(Click/tap to enlarge)

Business Boom


Stay Competitive in 2021 and Beyond

To adapt to challenges over the last two years, SMEs have made innovative and crucial changes to their service offerings. Last year, around 85,000 businesses launched ecommerce wings, and some of the biggest focus areas have been on optimising delivery strategies and retaining customers in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Here are the most prominent ways SMEs have adapted:

Switched to online video consultations or viewings 34%
Started offering online bookings 32%
Started offering online events 26%
Implemented contactless payments 25%
Offered home delivery services 25%


Three Key Business Focus Areas 

  1. Optimise delivery: Home deliveries naturally skyrocketed during lockdown, and thanks to the rising competition in this sector, fast and same-day delivery at competitive pricing has quickly risen in demand. Keeping pace with competitors is key. Last year, 24% of shoppers expected same-day delivery, compared to 36% in 2021.
  1. Build trust: Online shoppers are increasingly prioritising trust above all else, including brand and pricing. With so many brands launching ecommerce wings in the last two years without all the right infrastructure in place, shoppers are more interested in reliable and consistent experiences when buying online.
  2. Focus on sustainability: More shoppers are concerned about reducing their environmental impact. Brands are reviewing their sustainable approaches to everything from packaging and delivery to supply chains to meet this demand.

Gain an Advantage

Addison Lee offers next and same-day courier services everywhere in London and international courier services. That means you can give your business a competitive advantage and get your products in the hands of customers within two hours. Find out how.

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