It comes as a shock to no one that e-commerce is booming. Ordering items from the internet has become as normal an everyday activity as driving to work or making coffee in the morning. While online shopping has been available for a number of years the increases in sales seen globally are still sizeable, with annual increases varying from around 16% in the UK and Europe, 14% in the United States and 30% in Canada. But for how long can the increase in popularity of online shopping continue, and what happens when traditional brick and mortar stores become obsolete due to lack of customers? It is an extreme idea to think of a world with deserted high streets, empty shopping malls and barren supermarkets. While these days may never come the year on year increases in e-commerce point to a definite shift in the way that people will live their lives in years to come.
A factor not often thought of is how we are to receive our online orders to our door. A decrease in in-store shopping will see a large increase in traffic on our roads with items being delivered. We could also begin to see a shift in the job market with those previously working in retail being pushed into warehouses or even utilised as drivers. Other countries around the globe are seeing similar movements with China recently surpassing the United States in dollars spent online. Increased accessibility to internet and use of smart phones has led the e-commerce boom in the Asian country which saw a 41% increase in online sales between 2012 and 2013. With internet availability of course being the key component to drive online sales many are clambering to get on board with the next e-commerce boom set to take place in Africa