What would happen if online stores took to the high-street

New data has reimagined how the British high-street would look if online retailers competed with physical stores.

The coronavirus pandemic has heavily impacted high streets across the UK, with people turning to online shopping more since March.

Savings marketplace Raisin has reimagined the high street, looking at mobile and desktop search visibility to show which online businesses would dominate our shopping hubs in real life.

The data visualises how much space online shops would command in comparison to physical stores if they were side by side, creating a virtual high-street.

Looking at stores from the fashion, general retail and grocery sector, this is how the high-street would look for each of these sectors.


Based on search visibility and their revenue, online fashion retailer ASOS would command 32.5 per cent of the virtual high-street, but Debenhams still maintains its place as a staple amongst fashion brands, taking up 24.8 per cent.

Other online fashion brands Missguided, Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing have disrupted the industry, with Boohoo overtaking high-street chain New Look in its dominance within the fashion sector.

On the other hand, brands such as Topshop and Primark have a very small taking of the fashion sector, taking only 2.9 per cent of the virtual high street between them both.

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General retail

Online giant Amazon would dominate the high-street amongst its competitors, with a 60.4 per cent presence on the virtual high street.

Nothing comes close to the retail giant, with its closest competitor fellow online retailer eBay, commanding 23.4 per cent of the British virtual high street.

The closest physical store to Amazon’s revenue was Boots, with £104.611 billion – but still only claims 1.3 per cent on the virtual high street, whereas Argos has maintained a strong position in terms of search visibility and revenue, taking 9.1 per cent in the wake of online giants Amazon and eBay.

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When it comes to supermarkets, Britain remains traditional with physical stores such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys holding a strong position. 

The online-only supermarket Ocado only commands 4.5 per cent of search visibility on the hypothetical shopping street with much lower revenue compared to the physical shops. 

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