Understanding the future of the high street is a major part of understanding the future of work in the UK. The retail sector supports nearly three million workers in the UK, and generates more than £90billion for the UK economy. But it has been and will stay in flux for some time. The change to out-of-town shopping in the 1970s disrupted traditional high-street shopping. Online shopping was the next sea change. At each of these points, retailers have had to find new ways to work to make their businesses thrive.
The retail sector’s next disruptive moment is here. Amazon was launched 25 years ago. It is tremendously successful, but hegemony leads to laziness. Conversely, disruptors lead to change. They foster innovative thinking and new solutions to long-held problems. The future of the retail sector is now about finding a way for online and high-street shopping to become interdependent, not in competition. The retail sector can no longer be online versus high street, or big versus small business. It must only be about good business versus bad business. Good versus bad customer service. Innovative versus outdated.
Amazon no longer answers the question of what the future of work will be. It no longer innovates to offer the services that businesses and consumers want. It has rested on its laurels, and now other agile and creative disruptors are leading the way on what the future of work for retail looks like. That is where OnBuy.com comes in. It is the disruptor that online and high street businesses need. It is the marketplace of the future.
OnBuy is not a retailer. It does not compete with sellers and is accessible for all. OnBuy’s selling fees are cheaper than Amazon, meaning sellers can price competitively and buyers can get the best deal.
This in itself has disrupted the marketplace sector. OnBuy already lists more than 10 million products from thousands of sellers, has a unique partnership with PayPal, and plans to expand to 140 countries. Purchases on the site grew by more than 1,100 per cent between 2018 and 2019. Sellers and buyers already recognise value in a marketplace like this. OnBuy already has the potential to host more sellers than any other platform in the world, and the ambition to provide the infrastructure all businesses need to deliver their products straight to the consumer.
High street retailers can unlock the potential of e-commerce and change the way they work. An integrated e-commerce platform will enable local click-and-collect services, and same-day delivery for small businesses – even those with just one store – in ways that existing marketplaces have not. This benefits businesses, consumers, and the high street. This can be a genuinely integrated model for online and high-street retailers, rather than a competitive one. High-street businesses can use integrated e-commerce platforms, such as OnBuy, to sell and deliver their products in a way that is convenient and competitive for consumers. This will be a game-changer.
The future of work in the retail sector is always changing. From high streets, to out-of-town, to online, and now to universal, integrated selling and delivery platforms, a strong retail sector should never stand still. Disruptive innovation will always be good for business, for consumers, and for the way many of us will work in the future.