Channel Advisor’s recent survey highlights how European retailers are looking to expand internationally although they view the UK and continental Europe as the best opportunity for ecommerce growth.
This view highlights how the fastest growing economies (BRICS) have a growing and affluent middle class. According to a survey by CNN about 25% of China’s population is ‘middle class’ – larger than the entire population of the USA. And as their infrastructure expands part of this expansion is more retail developments. So retailers are happy to grow their footprint of stores in these quick growing economies. This helps develop their brand globally and attract new customers.
However in Europe retail is mirroring the nations’ economies – stagnant and in a state of flux – but ecommerce is still growing. The UK’s ecommerce sector is expected to increase 11.5% this year to £87bn.
It still seems that retailers are happy to invest in their growing sales channels across the globe but will the likes of the BRICs retail economies start to catch up and mirror their European counterparts with a declining high street and growing ecommerce channels? Smartphone growth and penetration has the potential to accelerate such a situation. There are already 1.08 billion smartphone users in the world, and of course economies with a growing middle class demographic are likely to see this figure rise rapidly. Although this is unlikely to happen any time soon it does highlight the need for retailers to take a global multi-channel approach to ensure the customer can shop where and when they like.