Half of UK retail sales could be online in next 10 years

Online shopping could more than double its share of the retail market by 2028, according to a new report examining the draws of convenience of online shopping and lightning fast delivery alongside traditional bricks and mortar retail. 

Research conducted in the UK on behalf of Ubamarket found 7.6 million consumers struggle to find items in-store, while 17.8 million people that waiting times could deter them from in-store shopping.

Meanwhile 73 per cent of UK consumers said they had changed their mind over a purchase after seeing the size of a queue in a shop.

READ MORE: Online retail sales growth in May worst on record

However, it wasn’t just physical stores that came under criticism from consumers. 

Some 71 per cent of those polled said they’d been frustrated with their online supermarket experience.

17.5 million of the nation said they wanted an app that combines the best of both worlds, with in-store experience and offers an end-to-end solution to payment, offers, loyalty cards and navigation.

“The recent report highlights the necessity for retailers to advance their in-store offering. Ubamarket research has unveiled that over half of consumers prioritise convenience as the most important factor when shopping in physical stores,” said Ubamarket chief executive Will Broome.

“Retailers would do well to take this on board and amalgamating retail tech and human interaction is the best way forward. Technology can make the in-store experience more efficient and personalised, for example by sending shoppers personalised and real-time offers, which helps enhance brand loyalty.

“However, retailers have a duty to find a balance in their responsibilities to their employees and consumers, therefore retail should combine technology and human interaction to help their communities thrive.”

The results come as online retail sales growth in May was the worst on record.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index, online retail sales grew just 1.9 per cent year-on-year in May, the lowest level of growth since its records began in 2010, reflecting tough trading for the sector across the board.

“The fact is that retailers are caught in a perfect storm at the moment – with all the problems on the high street, changing customer behaviour, shopper confidence low due to all the CVAs and negative coverage of major brands, a shifting competitive landscape, and, of course, even the weather is refusing to provide any relief. It’s proving tough to find any positives in the sales performance at the moment,” said IMRG’s strategy director Andy Mulcahy.

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