Economic Effects of the Internet

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Valued Senior Member
I had an argument the other day concerning the way consumers buying will change now that the internet has had its first big Christmas.

I made a prediction that the middle and upper income folks will be attracted more to shopping online in the future, and that this will become so common that it will be unthinkable for them to bother with the time consuming chore of traveling to the store. My other prediction was that only the lower income folks will be driving to the store (probably K-Mart) because they will not have the same access to the internet and its services.

This bothered a lot of fellows when I offered my predictions to them. They felt that they preferred to have there purchase sooner then the internet could ship it. When I explained the time and energy that they would save by shopping online. They stopped and thought for a moment, but they then asserted that most people felt the same as they feel: it's better to drive over and get it NOW then wait for a package to arrive.

I still feel that the market and the vendor's retail window are about to be relocated, but I thought it would be interesting to hear your opinion about my predictions. Do you think people will shift to the internet for the majority of their consumer needs? Will our shopping malls go vacant because there will be little interest by the consumer to visit one?

I see a very different world approaching our horizon.

It's all very large.
I think, that the majority of these shops will go bankrupt only if they don't change they way of doing business. Look at barnes&noble. They used the new possibilies and switched to the net.
These small shops on the corner will be popular always, because there will be customers, who want to see te product with their own eyes, like me.
The sure death of any company will be to use one and not the other. It's not that I think my corner store, a real mom-and-pop affair, needs a website, but a big place like Barnes & Noble offers the best of both worlds.

If you're shopping for a gift for yourself or someone else, browsing their website and ordering online is a pleasant way to shop. No lines, no looking for a parking place, you don't even have to wear clothes if you don't want to. (Naked surfing! Da-na-na Na-na Da-na-na Na-na...wipeout!) If you want a new book on short notice (finally got some time to yourself for an evening and want to spend some quiet time),
"There's nothing like going into a big bookstore...finding a collection of short stories that you'd always meant to read, taking off your coat, plopping down in their cafe and watching shoppers come and go as you sit back and sip on coffee."-Bill Amend

Any large retailer that doesn't see the advantages of offering both internet service and personal service isn't destined to be around much longer.

I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will fight, kill, and die for your right to say it.

[This message has been edited by Oxygen (edited January 21, 2000).]
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