The Online Revolution
High street stores, including many household names, are closing their doors in droves. The Online Revolution has begun!
The Online Revolution will have a similar impact to the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, when many manual processes were replaced by machines, leading to a drastic change in the way people were employed.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the vast majority of people were employed in agriculture with others working in home-based industries like yarn spinning and weaving, known as cottage industries. After the revolution, many people, including women and children, worked in mills and textile factories as machine operators and labourers. Men, who were once employed in back-breaking farm labour, were largely replaced by automated farm machinery and were forced to find alternative employment in the burgeoning number of factories.
Similarly, the Online Revolution will have a dramatic impact on jobs. There will be fewer jobs in the retail sector and more jobs in the online sector, with a big demand for web developers, warehouse staff, and logistics personnel.
More and more retail business is being transacted online. The latest available statistics show that online retail sales in the UK, excluding food & drink and travel, reached almost £70 billion in 2017, from £33 billion in 2012, more than doubling in a five year period. Around 87% of the UK population shopped online in the past twelve months and almost 20% of the total UK retail sales is now transacted online. According to Nasdaq, the highly-respected market for trading global securities, this figure is expected to grow to a whopping 95% by 2040. This last statistic is incredible, meaning that the high street, as we know it today, will be consigned to history.
 Online retail sales statistics provided by Statista.