The internet is the fastest growing channel of the overall UK plumbing and heating products market and has experienced strong growth levels over the last decade of above 35% over the last three years, according to the latest report from AMA Research.

Despite the uncertain economic climate, exacerbated by Brexit in the last three to four years, the UK internet plumbing and heating market has continued to grow. With lower prices and added convenience, internet retailers have been able to capitalise on changing consumer cross-channel shopping habits with a notable shift towards online purchases.

The number of specialist internet plumbing suppliers has continued to consolidate as this market matures, with the leading players taking greater market share.

Specialist suppliers account for the largest proportion of plumbing & heating products sold online, some of which still offer a showroom for potential and current customers to view products first-hand, thus enabling them to compete with standard retailers. However; two thirds of these specialist suppliers are pure-play retailers with no showroom area, this is most commonly used to assist them in keeping costs down.

Shower controls and taps account for the largest proportion of sales in value terms. Bathroom furniture and accessories are the next popular product categories. The products following on in succession are baths and sanitaryware, heating products such as boilers and standard radiators, shower enclosures, screens, trays and wetroom products, towel warmers, and decorative radiators.

Online plumbing specialists continue to expand the number of plumbing brands they supply, in addition to their own-brand products, which is helping them offer competitive pricing throughout.

Michelle Turner, editor of the Internet Plumbing Market Report, comments: “Reaping the benefits of COVID-19 is not something many markets are able to do but the internet plumbing market is one of the few. Thanks to the enforced push towards online purchasing as a result of lockdown procedures and the increased DIY activity seen amongst consumers as a result, internet plumbing will experience good growth in 2020 and further into the forecast period.”