In terms of the development, application, and adoption of digital technologies, it’s fair to say that the UK is one of the more advanced nations in the world. As reported earlier this year, the UK leads in tech investment in Europe, accounting for 35 percent of the 169 unicorn companies across the continent and Israel. It’s not just the investment side of digital technology which is soaring in the UK either, with Wales’ digital technology businesses turning over £1 billion alone.
The UK as a whole is digital tech-hungry and savvy, with many staples of the nation becoming more and more digital with each passing year. Businesses have found that not only does providing their services digitally enhance their reach, but customers also seek it out, finding the accessibility and ease of use making the experience preferable when going into a store seems like a chore. While investment in UK digital tech continues to grow, other companies are exploring the possibilities presented by going digital.
Gaming becoming increasingly iGaming
While the UK loves the digital world, the public has continued to frequent land-based offerings of companies within industries which also have an online offering. However, while still not the dominant force, there is a clear shift taking place when it comes to gambling and casino gaming.
As reported by the UK’s leader in industry analytics, the Gambling Commission, in their most recent findings, when comparing April 2017 to March 2018 with October 2017 to September 2018, there was an over 0.4 percent decrease in the UK gambling industry’s total gross gambling yield. However, the gross gambling yield of the remote sector saw an uptick of 2.9 percent over that time, with the category of slots in the remote sector seeing a 1.7 percent increase to account for £2 billion of the £14.5 billion industry. This shows that despite people generally spending less on gambling over the two compared timeframes, much more was going into remote gambling – thus the amount spent in brick-and-mortar betting shops and casinos fell.
Given the range of thousands of games and the massive bonuses on offer from the top online casinos available to the Great British public, it should come as no surprise that the more diverse, easier to access gaming websites are growing. The remote sector still only accounts for 38.6 percent of the UK industry, but with it continuing to grow while the industry as a whole endures a small slump, the remote sector may become the dominant force over the next decade. Given the way in which the Great British public has adopted digital technology as a whole, it is expected that the remote sector of gambling in the UK will continue to become a larger portion, eventually becoming the dominant force.
UK dominates Europe in eCommerce
It has been a catchy headline for close to a decade now, but the UK high street is dying. The financial crash of 2008 all-but ushered in a new, digital era of commerce in the country which has seen its once glorified high street take a huge hit. Carrying the demeanour of one of, if not the most disliked businessperson in the UK, Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has set about becoming the saviour of the high street by going on a spending spree and snapping up once-big brands like House of Fraser and most recently Jack Wills. However, even he has admitted that the high street is dying nonetheless.
Adoption of digital technology in the UK has greatly escalated this decline, with the UK standing as the leader in Europe when it comes to adoption of eCommerce. Shopping online is commonplace, and many people use online stores due to how easy they are to access and navigate as well as the prices often being cheaper than land-based stores. While total retail sales are still dominated by land-based stores, online retail continues to rise while many big-name brick-and-mortar retailers continue to post declining numbers at key periods of the year.
The UK is embracing digital technology and helping to advance the field. It’s rubbing off on the general public too, with a huge and ever-growing portion seeking online options for their gaming and shopping. As more customers see the online space as their primary port of call when it comes to gaming and shopping, more brands will aim to enhance their digital standing and may also have to cut back on their land-based offerings.