Online retail set to rise to represent third of all UK sales by 2022

The forecast comes from a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, called Retail 2022, which looks into the projected development of the global retail industry ten years from now. According to its analysis, one in three purchases will happen on digital channels, up from about 10% at present.

In addition, the report expects that shopping on mobile devices and social commerce will become mainstream and will change consumer habits, fuelling more purchases on impulse, as 4G network becomes available all over Britain.

Multichannel integration will reach a new level, where technologies will allow bargain-based websites like Groupon to become huge online retail hubs that provide personalised deals for consumers based on what they need and might be interested in. Stores will more frequently serve as showrooms, as consumers will increasingly prefer to shop from their homes.

However, the Economist Intelligence Unit predicts that polarisation on the UK market will continue, with consumers either looking for promotions and discounts, or buying luxury goods, which will further marginalise mid-market retailers.

According to Jon Copestake, chief retail analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, retailers need to adapt to the changing marketing conditions and evolve both in terms of technology they use and options they provide to consumers.