The Burgeoning Online Retail Market Within the United Kingdom
Much attention has been given to the recent Brexit negotiations as well as the potential fate of existing trade agreements between the United Kingdom and Europe. However, very few articles have highlighted the advancements associated with the domestic e-commerce marketplace. Statistics have shown that this sector generated an incredible £533 billion pounds in 2016 and such impetus certainly shows no signs of abating any time soon (1). There are several reasons behind this trend and some might be more surprising than others. What is causing UK-based e-commerce to enjoy a digital “golden age” and more importantly, what can we expect to see in the near future?
Business Owners are Beginning to Understand the Big Picture
Traditional retail outlets tended to focus upon a discrete market. This could have equated to a certain region, a specific target audience or a given age group. Such boundaries have been all but eliminated thanks to the rapid growth of the Internet. An online store now has the potential to reach millions of customers and physical limitations are no longer a concern. As these digital shops are not associated with nearly as much overhead when compared to brick-and-mortar establishments, a relatively small financial investment can produce disproportionately stunning results.
It is no coincidence that the Brexit was mentioned in the beginning of this article. As domestic firms (particularly those which regularly do business with Europe) are beginning to question their future, they are keen to appreciate what the online marketplace has to offer. They are now leveraging the all-encompassing reach of modern e-commerce platforms in order to boost sales and strengthen relationships with existing clients. The real question involves what we might see in the not-so-distant future.
Boom Times for the Astute Business Owner
Regardless of the predicted Brexit outcome, there is no doubt that the online retail community will continue to expand. Mobile-responsive technology, secure payment systems and the simple fact that there are more available products than ever before clearly reinforce this observation. However, some businesses could still fall into relative obscurity if they are not willing or able to adopt the correct software packages in advance.
Adapting to a changing virtual landscape can be challenging and this is why leveraging advanced software platforms is the key to success. Many online firms are employing the tools and utilities offered by Shopify to meet the demands of an increasingly expanding customer base. The inherently user-friendly nature associated with this architecture combined with an unparalleled sense of flexibility both help to ensure that businesses of all sizes will reap the inherent benefits.
Predicting what may or may not happen within the UK business sector is not always easy and there are few absolute certainties. Still, there is no reason to believe that this niche market will lose its momentum. Even if a so-called “hard” Brexit comes to pass, the chances are high that online retail firms will be able to weather the storm if they adopt the correct e-commerce software in advance.
Feature image by Henry Zbyszynski