Get ready for the digital tipping point, new research claims

Get ready for the digital tipping point, new research claims

Online shopping will account for more than 50% of retail sales (up from 19% currently) in the next ten years, according to a new report by law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD).

This notes that growth will be powered by three factors: the changing demographic of the UK adult population, the development of faster, cheaper, in-home deliveries and fewer physical stores. 

Richard Lim, Retail Economics at WBD, comments: "It’s no exaggeration to say that the retail industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented change. Despite concurrent waves of political and economic upheaval in our midst, our work with retailers suggest this is a mere distraction from the seismic structural shifts reshaping the retail landscape."

"Successful retailers have always had to reinvent themselves to stay relevant. However, the pace of change will inevitably prove too fast for many – as shown by the number of CVAs hitting the headlines. While the impact of future technologies and consumer acceptance is highly uncertain, it definitely feels like the digital retail revolution is only just getting started."

There are, however, potential risks ahead. Whilst consumers demand better technology from retailers for a seamless shopping experience, they are also increasingly aware of the need to protect their personal data. Over a quarter of those surveyed by WBD have taken some action to limit the amount of data shared with companies, reaching almost a third for 16-24 year olds.

Two thirds of people thought companies benefit more from the sharing of data compared to just 8% of who thought they benefited the most. Only 26% said there was an equal exchange of value. Financial rewards, free and discounted products rank most highly for consumers in terms of benefits they would still be willing to exchange their data for.

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