The rise and rise of ecommerce

I am old enough to remember the late ’90s when the then New Labour Government was becoming exercised about the rate at which ecommerce was growing in Britain and how we needed to move into the then new realm of online business in order to secure market share and compete.

Assisted by rising property prices inflating retail rental rates for high street shops, out of town supermarkets drawing trade away from town and city centres, and with time becoming an increasingly valuable commodity for consumers, the year of lockdown we have just experienced during the coronavirus pandemic has been just the last in a long line of changes that have favoured online shopping over visiting the shops. Small surprise that so many established retail chains have gone into receivership, including Woolworths, BHS, and these other 30 retail giants that folded in the last year alone.

And yet ecommerce is much more extensive and involved than simply selling direct to consumers. Ecommerce enables business to business supply chains and the network of services behind the digital shop fronts that keep our economy going. Click below to read an article from The Ecomm Manager for an intriguing overview of the breadth, diversity and rapidly increasing importance of ecommerce to the hyper-modern knowledge economy emerging to reshape the world post-Covid.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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