A new report fromCiti GPS (Global Perspectives & Solutions) based on the research performed by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne at the Oxford Martin School, the research and policy unit based in the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford in England, explores the worldwide impact of online shopping on traditional retail jobs in the near future.
Some key findings from the report, Technology at Work V3.0: Automating e-Commerce from Click to Pick to Door …
• Jobs in transport, warehousing, and logistics have an above-average susceptibility to automation: the report estimates show that 80% of jobs in retail transportation, warehousing, and logistics are at risk as a result of recent technological developments, and another 63% of sales occupations are at risk. These figures are higher than the 47% of total jobs that are potentially automatable in the United States.
• Growth in online shopping is the main driver of warehouse automation, and this will increase with greater broadband and mobile device penetration. The report looks at the online penetration of retail by category and geography and at the implications for the retail sector, how retailers are adapting to cope with online shopping, and ultimately what impact further automation may have on the retail landscape.
• Cross-border online shopping looks set to stay, further driving warehouse demand. DHL estimates that 15% of e-commerce is cross-border, and is set to increase to 25%, as the cost of carrying inventory has to be balanced against the cost of shipping cross-border. There is also a broader debate on the location of manufacturing when factories are fully automated. The CEO of Adidas commented on April 2017 that large-scale reshoring of manufacturing jobs from Asia back to the west is a “complete illusion” due to entrenched supply chains in Asia.
• Retail space will be impacted in two ways: First, is the already-visible decline of the high street and mall footprints, but second is in how the need for warehouses near or in dense urban areas is changing how planners look at zoning land. The report examines some emerging innovations and concepts that have the potential to significantly impact property markets, from the integration of industrial and residential land uses in significantly land-constrained markets, to the development of vertical warehouse solutions and even towards flexible warehouse solutions along the lines of AirBnB.
The full report, Technology at Work v3.0 Automating e-Commerce from Click to Pick to Door is available as are the previous two reports from 2016 (Technology at Work v2.0: The Future Is Not What It Used to Be) and 2015 (Technology at Work: The Future of Innovation and Employment)