While markets in Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East are still experiencing significant growth in ‘bricks-and-mortar’ retailing, the US and Europe are suffering from harsh market conditions which can be attributed in large part to the rise of online retailing.
E-commerce currently accounts for around 14% of global retail sales and this figure is predicted to rise to 22% by 2023. China is believed to have the highest proportion of e-commerce in the world, with online sales accounting for around a quarter of total retail sales. The UK is not far behind with 19% of retail purchases currently made online, compared to 11% in the US.
A string of recent business failures involving well-known retailers on both sides of the Atlantic, such as Forever 21, Payless Shoesource and Toys “R” Us in the USA, and BHS, Debenhams, Mothercare, Laura Ashley and Oasis/Warehouse in the UK are evidence of the tight squeeze that traditional retailers were already facing before the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close stores.
In this tough operating environment a clear understanding of customers’ needs and opinions is becoming increasingly important. Five percent of market research globally focuses on wholesale and retail trade.
FieldworkHub has successfully completed many projects for both online retailers of products ranging from cars to insurance. Projects with bricks-and-mortar retailers include face-to-face interviews with shops that sell mobile phone top-cards, pharmacy audits in London and research with eye-tracking software in petrol station shops.