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Online spending up as high street sales continue to dip

19 September 2017 - 09:22 by Graham Miller

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Payment card firm Visa has released its latest figures showing trends in spending over the course of the past month, with shopping online fuelling growth while bricks and mortar retailers struggle to stay afloat.

Internet Retailing reports that there was a 6.5 per cent uptick in the amount Brits spent via e-commerce sites over the course of August. Conversely, the 2.6 per cent reduction in high street spending is seen as being a real letdown, with the market just about managing to experience overall growth thanks to online sales.

Visa spokesperson, Kevin Jenkins, said that consumer spending is at its lowest level since 2013, with the three months leading up to August being especially troubling.

He also explained that safe shopping online was doing well in its own right, painting a bright picture of the future when viewed independently of the broader retail sector where things are less positive.

Experts argue that one solution to the fall in high street spending is to change the way that consumers see bricks and mortar shopping, refocusing it as part of a wider leisure experience rather than compartmentalising it.

It is also hoped that digital technologies will improve the experience of shopping both in-store and online, with the integration of smartphone features with the high street experience giving consumers more reason to visit real world locations.

The recent launch of Apple’s iOS 11 platform and the next-gen iPhone range has brought with it improved mapping capabilities which could tie in with this idea, since the ability to navigate places like retail parks and shopping centres will be made available to consumers on the move.

Growth in the UK’s retail market is likely to be reliant on e-commerce spending for some time to come, but the influence of technology could still save the high street.