In Business both the high street and online retailers have always competed with each other for the largest market share in a number of different sectors. However in recent years it appears that the UK’s appetite for online shopping has reached record numbers with more and more of us opting for online shopping and delivery. This has led to the number of big high street store brands and household names as they have struggled to adapt to the changing business climate. In this article we will look at both the high street and online and compare the differences between the two.

The High Street

Traditionally the high street has always been a centre of commerce for merchants , shopkeepers and tradespeople. However over the last 30 years or so the way we use the high street has changed as well as the overall landscape of shops throughout it. This is mainly due to the introduction of online shopping and buying items online. However this is not the first time the high street has faced adversity. Throughout the 70s 90s and 00s smaller retailers such as independent bookshops , greengrocers , family shops and other traders have disappeared slowly from our streets. This is primarily due to the growth of supermarkets who have dominated the shopping industry ever since. Although having said this there is increasing demands in parts of the UK for independent locally sourced retailers.

Today the high street as we know it is mainly made up of larger retailers such as clothes chain stores as well as as supermarkets , jewellers and boutique stores among others. One of the main benefits to the high street is it provides employment to thousands in the local area wherever that is located. Without high street shops there would be considerably less employment in certain areas. A further benefit of high street stores over shopping online is when visiting these stores you can sample or try new products to see if you want them. Whereas if you order online and there is an issue then you need to return the items and wait for a new one to be set out to you.

Online Shopping

Online shopping grew from very little just before the start of the 21st century. One of the original websites that provided online shopping was Amazon originally only supplied books but as time went on popularity of the site increased and they began selling different items. As they continued to do this the company continued to grow until becoming one of the largest international companies as it stands today.

One of the main advantages of online shopping is the convenience factor that it provides. Online shopping allows users to order things online at the touch of a button with effort needed. Items normally arrive within a matter of days and this can prove a lot more convenient than travelling to shops. Another advantage of online shopping is often items can be found cheaper online than they can be in store , in addition to this if items are out of stock in -stores they can often be found online.