The pandemic-driven growth in the global connected retail market is estimated to reach $82.31 billion by the end of 2025 from $19.46 billion in 2017, according to a report by Transparency Market Research (TMR).
During the period of 2017 to 2025, the global connected retail market demand is forecasted to rise at a remarkable compound annual growth rate of 19.8 percent. But there are factors holding back growth that impact retailers, the report added.
Another report from Shopify says that while a post-COVID-19 world is expected to recover more slowly than it did after the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, eCommerce is a key element in the economy as brands and consumers rush online. Nearly 150 million people shopped online in the pandemic and the number of buyers will only continue to rise.
The booming local online shopping market of the Gulf region is expected to grow by more than a third to reach a gross value of $30 billion this year, according to a report from Wamda and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The eCommerce market in the region was worth $22 billion by the end of 2020, boosted by online shoppers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE. The three countries form 80 percent of the region’s overall online shopping market, according to the study.
An analysis by Mastercard shows that globally consumers are making purchases from a greater number of websites and online marketplaces than before. Residents in countries like Italy and Saudi Arabia are buying from 33 percent more online stores, on average, followed closely by Russia (29 percent), the UK (22 percent) and the UAE (21 percent).
The various eCommerce and virtual retail stores that cater to different product segments will eventually merge into larger connected virtual hypermarkets or digital marketplace eco-systems, experts said.
At a virtual conference, ‘Connected Store of the Future of Retail’ panelists opined that physical retail stores will stay for a longer period, despite the digital transformation and the growth of online shopping. But customer convenience and experience will decide the success of retail stores as they are becoming more informed and therefore, they would dictate where they want to buy groceries or other commodities from.
By using customer data analytics the retailers get a better understanding of the requirements of the consumers. “We are in a unique phase of retail, that there are at least six generations of retail customers who are shopping today. The retailers create an experience which is unique to each one of them,” the panelists added.