21st Century Shopping Centre
The internet is the biggest retail outlet in the world and it’s getting bigger. In the UK alone we spent £130 billion shopping online in 2016, compare that to £78 billion in 2012 and you can see just how fast online sales is growing. Enormous Global businesses like Google, Ebay and Amazon have grabbed the internet with both hands and made it their own, promoting and selling their own products and services and allowing others to use their platforms to do so. Millions upon millions of smaller businesses worldwide have followed suit, tapping into a global market place that offers unbeatable convenience and often better prices.
Another big driver of the success of the internet is the huge success of smartphones which have dramatically changed the way we access the internet since the iPhone first launched in 2007. See our blog The Smartphone Revolution for more on this.
Is It All Good News?
The growth of online retail has not happened without issue. As the legitimate use of the internet increases so does the illegitimate use. Cyber crime is growing just as fast and website security is falling behind. This is not necessarily because technology doesn’t keep up but generally because the people managing the technology are taking their eye off the ball. Just like all computer software, websites need attention and out of date security software to a hacker is like an open door to burglar.
And of course there are still actual shops, you know bricks and mortar retail outlets with real shelves kept full by real people. As the internet grows many smaller high street retailers have disappeared and a few big names have gone too and this is another trend that is not slowing down.
The Futures Bright, The Futures Online…?
Will all high street shops eventually disappear leaving a world where everything is bought and paid for online and everything we buy is sitting in a warehouse waiting to be picked up and delivered by a courier? Maybe.
How online retail develops in the future is anyone’s guess. The market has grown so big and so fast in such a relatively short space of time there’s no way to know what will happen to it in another 5 years, or 10.
It may come down to a simple choice, join in or miss out…
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"nifty website designers have helped our company to take off at a speed we could not have anticipated. They have shown saint like patience with the little understanding we have with the workings of websites and internet marketing in general. They have worked and been readily on call at weekends and late into the evening and their enthusiasm for the project was inspiring. I would highly recommend them to any company be it a start-up or a mature operation.”