Is e-commerce dead? Not quite, but it’s certainly changing.

“What’s going to happen in the future is new retail… and new retail is not just going to be about traditional adding an online channel to retail, or online getting into offline,” said Pascal Martin, partner of management consultancy firm OC&C, at the Retail Asia Conference in Hong Kong.

He noted that the trend of offline retail’s disruption thanks to the growth of online retail has started to reverse itself – with some interesting developments as retailers “have figured out how to make offline work, and with the help of online”.

Brick-and-mortar in the UK has bounced back from a 5% low of share of retail sales growth in 2016 (while online grabbed 95% share), to both online and in-store taking an even 50%-50% split in 2018.

China looks set to follow suit next, predicted Martin, though the reversal “hasn’t happened yet” as online share of retail sales growth continues to rocket from 21% in 2014 to 55% in 2018.