You could say that years ago, life was simpler, the pace of life was steadier and more relaxed, customers would visit the butcher, baker and grocers for their provisions, and everyone knew where they stood.
With the onset of the supermarket developing in the 1960’s many small independent retailers were squeezed out of business, unable to compete with the buying power of these large conglomerates.
Between the 1960’s and 1980’s long established family businesses have been forced to close, unable to quickly alter their business model with no recourse or alternative.
Forward to the 1990’s and the internet came on the scene, with many entrepreneurs taking advantage of it’s commercial potential, with small independent businesses now able to expand their branding, and income streams by opening up in other markets and territories, but what’s more, online commerce gives businesses the flexibility to quickly change with market trends, and no such example is more relevant than the recent economic developments.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics released recently reveal the volume of sales in the three months to January actually rose by 1.5% with household goods, repair and non-store retailing performing particularly well.
Ongoing discounting will also be playing a part in keeping shoppers shopping, although not doing much for the profitability of the retail sector right now.
The biggest winner again seems to be online retailing.
The non-store (largely comprised of internet) and repair sectors saw sales rise 8.3% the biggest since records began in 1986.
Clearly people are fixing things, rather than buying new and shopping online for the best deals.
New figures from the Office of National Statistics, which come with a few health warnings because they’ve only recently been developedhome page, show that internet retail sales now represent 3.7% of overall retail sales.
This is equivalent to an online spend of £178 million per week during January this year.
The online retail sales percentage has been growing steadily from 3.1% in January 2008 to 3.5% in December and now 3.7%.
This trend will continue to rise, and with brick and mortar businesses without an online presence missing out on a large percentage of their income, sat in their shops, waiting for customers to walk in.
The face of business is changing, with more customers opting for the convenience of the internet, and retailers able to directly target and sell to hungry customers ready to buy, the simple fact is, that if you’re a retailer without an online presence, you days are numbered.