Much of the Global Business Summit on Retail, Food and Drink that I attended in London last week was about the rapid changes we’re seeing in retailing, from e-commerce to m-commerce via mobiles and even t-commerce via television.
Apparently, the UK has the highest e-commerce retail penetration in the world, ahead of the US and the rest of Europe. In 2011, UK e-commerce had a retail market share of 8% and this is forecast to reach 12% by 2016.
There was lots of debate about how e-commerce combines with or trades off retail stores. In the UK, store-based retailers lead the way. In the US, dedicated online retailers such as Amazon have a far higher share.
But it’s more complicated than that, with many shoppers searching on the internet, viewing in store, buying online and collecting locally.
There was a strong consensus that most future market growth will come from e-commerce, with m-commerce gaining share even faster.
In the second quarter of 2012, total food and drink online search volumes were up 15%, but mobile and tablet search volumes were up 163%.
Richard Hall is chairman of Zenith International
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