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Adanola, Sephora lead UK's fastest-growing digital businesses
Mon, 15th Jan 2024

Similarweb has released its annual Digital 100 report, highlighting the fastest growing digital businesses in the UK. These rankings provide a snapshot of shifting online consumer habits across five key categories: Apparel & Accessories, Beauty & Cosmetics, Home & Garden, Personal Finance, and Travel & Tourism. All winners were already operating substantial online businesses in 2022 and managed significant growth in 2023.

Sportswear brand Adanola topped the Apparel & Accessories category with a growth rate of 338%. This correlates with the brand's reported 311% increase in turnover and a growth of over 250% in its active customer database. This category also interestingly underscored the popularity of the 'athleisure' trend - a hybrid of casual and athletic wear - among UK consumers.

Beauty and Cosmetics winner Sephora enjoyed an astounding 705% YoY rise in web traffic after reopening stores in the UK in 2021. The Essence Vault, with its range of affordable beauty product clones, saw a 94% increase in year-on-year growth, ranking fourth in this category. This rise particularly emphasises the UK public's growing preference for inexpensive quality products during the ongoing 'cost-of-living' crisis.

In the Personal Finance category, the cryptocurrency exchange platform OKX reigned supreme with a rise of 209%. Cryptocurrency online services dominated this area, with seven other relevant platforms finding their places in the top twenty. The current economic crisis led many UK consumers towards short-term loan providers and 'Buy Now Pay Later' services.

Despite a challenging economic backdrop, the Travel & Tourism category flourished, with vacation rental search engine Blue Pillow taking the top spot, followed by low-cost airline Fly Norse and tour operator Great Rail. This indicates a continuing desire for escapism among UK consumers, even in times of financial adversity.

With numerous unpredictable changes in the housing market, UK homeowners opted largely for home improvements instead of potentially costly relocations. This trend is reflected by The Wood Veneer Hub, which supplies woodworking needs, leading the Home & Garden category with a 136% YoY growth.

Similarweb CEO Or Offer stated, "The Digital 100 is our annual celebration of business success online, highlighting online brands that have achieved huge increases in their online audience within a single year."

Richard Robinson, AVP UKI & Northern Europe at Similarweb, added, "It is clear that the cost of living crisis continues to shape shopping behaviour with a prevalence of discount brands topping the list. The rising trend of cosmetic dupes illustrates well how UK consumers want affordable luxuries to sit alongside the growing popularity in sustainable fashion. Yet despite financial restraints, consumer confidence is returning and community-centric retailers are benefiting from lifestyle changes."