Social commerce and popular networks like Pinterest will another dimension to online shopping, triggering rapid growth in the UK sector.

This prediction was made in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest report, Retail 2022, which suggests that social media will play an integral role in warming physical retailers to the idea of a multi-channel strategy.

According to internetretailing.net, the group believes at least a third of all UK retail sales will be conducted online by 2022, up from the 10 per cent of present. The report believes growth will be driven by an adoption of digital technology as traditional retailers turn to the likes of social media marketing to advertise their new services.   

“S-commerce, led by investment in traffic drivers such as Pinterest, will add a further dimension to virtual shopping,” an excerpt from the document read.

Meanwhile, researchers predicted that physical space would be transformed into digital showrooms through the integration of collection centres, customer service hubs and augmented reality displays.

The report urged retailers to adapt to this new marketplace sooner rather than later, claiming that the new model will become commonplace regardless of their own stance.

Report author Jon Copestake, chief retail analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, told cbronline.com: “The opportunities for retail over the next decade and beyond are enormous. But where the future markets will reside and the way in which we will buy goods will change dramatically.

“Retailers will need to evolve to adapt to this new landscape.”