2030: The Future of eCommerce

Gateshead, 1984. Perhaps not the most awe-inspiring location for one of the most important events in the history of commerce, but it was here that eCommerce was born. An old lady named Mrs. Jane Snowball (no, really) made the first ever online shopping transaction from home.

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Now, it is easy to imagine the newspapers featuring this in some small column hidden deep inside “real news,” but with hindsight, we can safely say that it was a key event. Today, eCommerce is growing steadily with the UK’s top 5 online brands bringing in around £12bn per annum (2016).

Amazon sustains a market leading £4.4bn and tops todays eCommerce market with 10% of the total retail sales growth, on and offline, over the first six months of 2016. It is this success that sees eCommerce jumping from one successful year to another. With figures like this, is clear to see how the future is set to feature more success for online commerce channels.

ParcelHero have produced a report that details how future high streets will look; for store owners, the future is bleak. If eCommerce trends continue, then your local high street will mainly consist of nail salons, 3d printing shops and charity shops.

Buying things online will become easier and more convenient with autonomous vehicles and droids delivering your chosen goods to your door in a timeframe that currently you can only achieve from popping to your local store.

The Senior Business Reporter at The Guardian, Graham Ruddick suggests that advancements in the speed at which you can order things holds the key to destroy local businesses once and for all. “The potential repercussions of Amazon Prime Now – enabling shoppers in London to receive orders within an hour – are that it destroys everything we understand about the differences between online and high street shopping.

‘We have been told that the strength of physical high street shops and supermarkets is that they are convenient. If you need a product urgently, then you still have to go to a shop, because an online order may not arrive until the next day, at best. But if Amazon can deliver products in an hour, to a destination of your choice, then suddenly the internet becomes the most convenient form of shopping.”

In just 13 years, eCommerce will earn over 40% of all UK retail sales. But we also expect to see a rise in uber-style local community food delivery apps. This is likely to redefine what it means to be a local business and will help communities to retain some identity.

ParcelHero’s report Read ParcelHero’s full report to find out exactly why the next 13 years will change our city centres so dramatically.


Nat Rush handles ParcelHero's content and social media accounts. In his spare time he can be seen bumping into things in East London, whilst telling people about his band.