Shopping centre.

Online shopping and social media influencers are a growing trend but  it still has a long way to go before it takes over the market.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that in August 2018, online only accounted for 18% of all retail sales in the UK, with an increase of £8.2 billion in the previous year from £51.6 billion to £58.9 billion.

Whilst there has been a 2.4% increase in-store, increasing by just over £7 billion, from £299 billion in 2016 to £306 billion in 2017.

Meaning that big businesses still aren’t threatened by the rise of online celebrity influences or the media’s presence.

Retail research associate, Nelson Blackley from Nottingham Business School, said: “I believe people will always want to visit stores, to see, to touch and to try on products that they are considering buying.”

“There are a number of recent examples of retailers that started online, who have now started to open stores because they see the benefit of consumers coming in and experiencing their brand and product.”

“I do see myself working with a shop like Boots in the future.”
Bushola Shopeju, Owner of DearLola

Bushola Shopeju, a student at Nottingham Trent University launched her own online business this week, called Dearlola, she said: “I would like to do a pop up shop, that would be nice, but I do see myself working with a shop like Boots in the future.”

Although it seems like big retail brands shouldn’t be threatened by online shops, the British Retail Consortium says that a third of retail jobs could be gone by 2025.

Criminology student Megan Holt from Nottingham Trent University, said: “I prefer shopping online because I like being able to try things on at home and there’s much more of a variety online than in a store.”

Alison Thompson, 59, from Nottingham said: “I mostly shop in stores because I find that I’m different sizes in different shops.”

Graph from ONS

As a proportion of all retailing, money spent online has increased from an average of 4.9% in 2008 to an average of 16.3% in 2017 (Figure 3). This means that nearly one-sixth of every British pound was spent online in 2017.