What does this mean?
As the advancement in technology continues to develop and we become ever-more reliant on the convenience of smartphones, tablets etc. it is virtually inevitable that we will use the Internet & our devices to carry out more and more of our daily practices.
Shopping is an intrinsic part of the typical day for the majority of Great Britain, and we are merely just beginning to utilise the Internet as a means of purchasing items.
As seen in the infographic above, online stores accounted for approximately 13% of shopping transactions in 2015 – an 8% increase in 7 years. This is a fairly impressive rate of growth, which, with our growing dependence on the Internet, will only upsurge in the future. For this reason, there is a valid purpose to believe that shopping online is merely in its early stages. Furthermore, 49% of these online stores have no physical location. This proves that businesses operating solely with e-Commerce are already capable of competing with High Street stores.
What is the potential of e-Commerce?
If we take a look at the evolution of the US music industry, we can see exactly how powerful Digital Commerce can be.
In 2004, Digital music sales (e.g. iTunes downloads) accounted for around just 3% of overall music sales in the US – nothing for the physical sellers to worry about, in terms of competition. In 2014, Digital music sales accounted for approximately 71% of music sales – a 68% increase, and overall, a takeover of the industry itself.
What could make an industry transform in such a dramatic way? The cracking-down on free music downloads? The exclusivity of some music being available solely on the Internet? The recent prevalence in popularity of music streaming apps? I’m sure we could find an abundance of reasons for this colossal change, but the fact of the matter is – none of it would’ve been possible without utilising the Internet as a means of retail.
Could the same happen with the way we shop generally?
In 2010, 41p of every £1 spent online in Great Britain, was spent on products from stores that have no physical location (eg. ASOS). In 2015, this amount grew to 49p of every £1. So, just as the general public in America have taken to purchasing music products that don’t physically exist, are the British general public taking to purchasing from stores that don’t physically exist? It would appear so.
So, if the number of people shopping online is increasing, and the number of people shopping online with stores without a physical location is increasing, there is evidence to suggest that “shopping without ‘shops’” could very well be the future of retail.
Should the traditional brick-and-mortar seller be worried?
Returning to the example of the American Digital music industry- distributors and retailers of CDs, Cassettes, Vinyl etc. may well have suffered from the drastic change. However, that is because the product itself isn’t tangible, whereas with e-Commerce, the products are still just as physically tangible as products purchased in a high street store.
Based on this, it would suggest that high street sellers needn’t necessarily be ‘worried’ about e-Commerce; as the old saying goes: if you can’t beat them, join them.
Our advice to a high street seller losing out to online retailers, wouldn’t be to worry, but to understand and invest in online selling strategies. Whether it be an e-Commerce website, Social Media marketing, a Pay-Per-Click campaign or Search Engine Optimisation, there are a variety of ways to generate business and beat your competition by means of online selling.
For more information on e-Commerce, read our blog ‘What’s the magic of Magento?’, or for any other advice or enquiries, contact Kandeshop today: 0121 4000 171.