Retail sales in the UK have surged dramatically from 16% to 27% of all sales in the country.
Tony Moroney, managing partner at, Beta Digital Ltd, predicts:
“The end of main street is nigh.”
Moroney notes that Amazon’s retail sales surged 26% during Q1 2020, meanwhile, leading video conferencing software provider Zoom went from 10 million to 300 million users in only four months and Microsoft’s cloud service Azure saw its activity increase by 775%, following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Moroney pointed out:
“What is happening is the world has moved to digital in just a few short weeks. We all now accept our digital connectivity from home, working from home, getting deliveries to the home, doing everything from home.”
“The incredible thing is that the trend towards this movement has been sown for years….No one believed, believes or expects video-banking to take off, and yet the past two months has seen everyone moving to video chat.”
Moroney revealed in the Finanser that between March 14 and April 14, 2020, there were 200,000 people who downloaded their bank’s app every day (according to Fintech firm Nucoro). Six million UK residents, or 12% of the nation’s population, have switched over to digital banking during the past few weeks.
Moroney argues that “what we are seeing is the world converting to digital in just a couple of months.”
He notes that almost all services are digital now, including digital delivery, digital services, digital access, digital entertainment, digital shopping, digital banking, among many others.
However, not everyone seems to have benefited from the shift to digital in recent weeks.
WHSmith experienced a 85% drop in its sales at its stores in the UK.
Clearly, not many people have been going out during the pandemic, almost nobody visited physical store locations, and people were not buying physically, with the exception of food and gas.
Last year, over half or 50% of all payments in the UK were made with payment cards, as cash transactions have declined significantly.
The UK has seen a dramatic surge in contactless payments during the pandemic, while ATM usage has dropped considerably.
UK Finance reports that debit cards were used last year for handling 17 billion payments, and about seven billion of these were contactless.
Credit card use in 2019 also increased by 7% to 3.3 billion transactions, with 1.3 billion of them being contactless.
Cash transactions dropped by 15% to 9.3 billion, however, cash remains the most widely-used payment method in the country, right after debit cards.