eCommerce Websites Improve Productivity
The seismic shift towards eCommerce sales, driven in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in major gains in productivity for retailers in the UK. Businesses have become more able to operate with less staff in the online environment, with unit labour costs dropping noticeably.
According to official figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), unit labour costs for the retail trade in Q2 of 2021 were 3% lower than 2019's average while the average output per hour was a full 10% higher.
A spokesperson for the ONS said that the figures were, in part, a 'reflection of the strength of retail sales, which experienced a rebound during 2020 as consumers on lockdown switched their spending to goods from services. The spokesperson added that retail sales, particularly online, had remained above pre-pandemic levels even though leisure spending is recovering. The increase in productivity was attributed in large part to the 'rapid uptake' of shopping online, as less labour was required to generate higher sales figures.
These figures for retail are in sharp contrast with almost all other trends in the economy: overall, average unit labour costs in Q2 were over 7% higher than the average for 2019. Practically every other sector suffered falls in output. The ONS spokesperson said that many 'less productive retailers that had failed to embrace eCommerce' had been forced out of business, while online companies had expanded.
The pandemic and shift towards eCommerce created several casualties of big-name high-street stores like Oasis, Topshop and Debenhams. Many brands were quickly purchased by eCommerce retailers like Boohoo and Asos.
It has never been more important to make sure that not only is your business online but that it has a modern, reliable and customer-focused presence on the internet. As more and more businesses shift to online, the competition grows fiercer and consumers become more demanding.
Brickweb offers a comprehensive suite of web design, web development and internet marketing services, which help ensure your brand enjoys success in the crowded online marketplace. We invite you to browse our website to discover more about our services and solutions, before contacting a member of our expert team to begin your journey to eCommerce excellence.