digital transformation grocery shopping

Digital transformation and the high street

Over the last decade, it has been argued that the UK has started to witness “the death of the High Street”. With several stores and big chains, such as Woolworths, closing down due to competition from innovations in the current market, as well as new businesses emerging, a focus on digital transformation and digital maturity is now more relevant than ever. Although the supermarket sector has seen a continuously growth in sales over the last three years, with numbers from Mintel showing that the sales grew by 1.2% in 2018, their share of the market is consistently falling. From having 58.5% of the market shares in 2013, supermarkets only account for 50.3% in 2019 and is expected to further lose shares in the following years.

Moving in a different direction from its brick-and-mortar competitors, the online shopping sector has increased from 4.3% in 2013 to 7.5% in 2019 and has directly taken market shares from the supermarket. This proves to be the biggest threat to the high street grocery stores and is already a more dominating market in other parts of the world such as North America and eastern parts of Asia. CBInsights reported that the number of online grocery shoppers doubled from 2016 to 2017 on a worldwide scale, and some predictions suggests it can grow exponentially and have 70% of the grocery store marked by 2022.

Digital transformation and grocery shopping

This white paper will look at where the UK high street grocery stores are today in terms of digital maturity, and the effect shifts in the VUCA world and threats from the online market have. There will also be an insight on how the high street stores today gather and use data, and finally explore the role people have in moving the business move forward – in terms of both leaders and employees within the sector as well as customers. As a conclusion, there will be presented some recommendations about where UK high street grocery stores should head towards in order to become a people-driven, digitally mature business, and, most importantly, avoid the death of the High Street.