Why more industries are going exclusively online

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 07-06-2024
  • Business
  • Photo Credit: Unsplash
Why more industries are going exclusively online

There are very few industries that aren’t immune to the rise of digital transformation. In fact, many traditional sectors face a tricky decision – to embrace going digital or risk being left behind. A strong digital brand matters in today’s world of commerce. There are millennials and those among Generation Z and Alpha who only know the online, always-connected world.

As the years go by, fewer consumers will remember what it’s like to do everyday tasks on the high street or even face-to-face. Businesses are therefore having to think more like a digital native than ever before. That’s why so many sectors are now seeing their services carried out exclusively online, redefining the way businesses work day-to-day. Below, we’ll explore a handful of industries that have decided to go all-in on the digital world.


In May 2020, McKinsey launched a US Digital Sentiment Survey, which found that the retail sector was the most likely to see expanded digital adoption by shoppers. It said grocery and apparel retail sectors could grow digital adoption by 100% and 40% apiece.

Since then, the retail revolution has moved at speed online. Even boutique clothing stores and niche hobby shops are finding their place on the internet. An online store is open 24/7 too, which is comfortably the biggest benefit for retailers. With lower running costs, it means online retailers can be more competitive on price too, with profit margins less constrained.

Estate Agents

It’s no longer necessary for house-hunters to have to get in their cars and scout around their favourite neighbourhoods in search of desirable properties to buy. Online property portals have put paid to this, allowing users to filter their requirements and get virtual tours of households on the market in seconds.

The property industry is starting to go one further too, with a new wave of online-only estate agents making their mark. With online consultations, digital document signing and much more, the entire process is seamless and efficient. One of the primary benefits of online estate agents is their agility. Their low-cost base means there are no hidden fees – or commissions charged based on the sale price. Online house-selling agents are also willing to work with sellers to meet timeframes that suit them best.

Banking and Financial Services

Why more industries are going exclusively online

The banking industry is another world that’s going increasingly online. In the UK, there are now multiple banks which are online-exclusive. These include Revolut, Starling Bank, Monzo and Atom. Monzo is a particularly interesting concept as it offers fee-free ATM withdrawals anywhere in the EU, ensuring a better exchange rate than with a conventional Bureau de Change.

In March 2024 alone, some 49 high-street bank branches closed their doors across the UK. This includes banks operated by the likes of Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest. Mobile banking apps are becoming increasingly safer and more intuitive, making it easier to check balances, transfer funds and even apply for loans without hot-footing it into a branch.

Online-only banks have no need to pay for physical branches, which reduces their costs and gives them the flexibility to offer more competitive interest rates and fees for customers.

Digital-exclusive industries are going to become the norm where physically possible. With efficiency, convenience, and cost the name of the game, the digital shift is here to stay.