UK Leads the World in E-Commerce
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The UK may be a small island nation, but according to a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it led the world in 2012 with e-commerce accounting for 13.2% of all retail purchases.
So how is this meteoric rise in online shopping going to affect us all?
Whether scanning a QR code on a poster to make an impulse purchase, paying for a coffee via an app, or comparing prices using barcodes, it's clear that mobile phones will become an important shopping companion to add extra convenience to everyday life.
2. Branded Showrooms
Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers will find themselves increasingly squeezed by internet shopping.
Brands and retailers will switch to providing showroom space for products to get them into the hands of consumers without actually fulfilling orders - instead the goods will be ordered online.
3. 3D Printing
Bespoke and customised products designed by shoppers will become possible thanks to 3D printing methods. Smart software will enable consumers to design products without requiring specialist skills.
It should also become easier to source replacement spare parts for gadgets as these can simply be printed.
4. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality apps are already available on smartphones, adding information layers such as attractions, public transport links, or business listings to the image fed from the phone's camera.
Expect to see this take the world of commerce by storm - with customers able to try out jewellery, clothes and more without ever visiting the store.
5. Hand-Made Crafts
While giants such as Amazon become a one-stop-shop for commoditized products, craftsmen and women who make small volume, quirky, hand-crafted products are also seeing their sales flourish by serving customers who want something a little different. Expect to see more sites like Etsy cropping up to supply this demand for the handmade.