By John Leslie, Sales Director EMEA
In 1999, Bill Gates published an essay titled Business @ the speed of thought. The book discusses how business and technology are entwined and explores how digital infrastructures and information networks can help businesses get an edge over the competition. At the closing of his introduction he notes that “Business is going to change more in the next ten years than it has in the last 50.”
“In the digital age, “connectivity” takes on a broader meaning than simply putting two or more people in touch. The Internet creates a new universal space for information sharing, collaboration, and commerce.” – Bill Gates
These predictions may have seemed bold in the era of Windows 98 and dial-up connections – but over the last two decades we have seen this come to pass. Technology has become indispensably woven into the fabric of our daily lives – both as consumers and in business – changing our needs, habits, and actions.
No industry has felt the seismic impact of this change more than retail. In 1999, eCommerce sales accounted for around 0.5% of all sales in the US – in 2020 this figure stands at 14.5%. In the UK there has been even more rapid adoption, with current figures showing eCommerce accounts for 27.5% of all retail sales, and estimates suggest this figure will rise to 32.1% by 2024.
The current health crisis is accelerating this transition, as many retailers who were previously reluctant to experiment with eCommerce are no longer able to avoid the importance of the channel and the opportunities it offers in a rapidly changing landscape.
Read our latest report, Accelerating your eCommerce: Why Speed Matters, to explore the four key factors merchants must consider as they enter the high-velocity eCommerce space.