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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: Who's Afraid of E-Commerce Now?

Re: Who's Afraid of E-Commerce Now?
Posted by: Mark W. Vigoroso 2002-03-25 03:17:06
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Even as online shoppers multiply and increasingly mirror mainstream consumer profiles,
sizable pockets of e-commerce abstainers remain. To reach this untapped revenue source,
e-tailers must simplify their storefronts and establish brick-and-mortar partnerships,
analysts agreed. "The Web has proven itself as a great investigation tool, so at a
minimum, e-tailers need to offer investigation capabilities," Meta Group senior program
manager Gene Alvarez told the E-Commerce Times.

Re: Who's Afraid of E-Commerce Now?
Posted by: davidport 2002-03-25 09:33:34 In reply to: Mark W. Vigoroso
Andrew Bartels almost got it right: Stores do satisfy, but that's mostly because they do indeed "store" -- and importantly, storage enables buyers and sellers to efficiently exchange goods. However, since no 'stor'age currently exists outside of consumers' locked homes, most won't even risk ordering home-delivered goods in the first place. As evidence, last year I asked the market research firm, Ipsos-Reid, to answer the follow question: "If nobody in your family could be home to receive home-delivered goods, would you be likely to even order them in the first place?" 78.6% said "no".
To further illustrate: My company has long delivered drycleaning both to people in office buildings as well as individual homes. In large office buildings, our customers drop their clothes into a drop-box that's located near the building's lobby. That box is similar to a FedEx or UPS box, and as it enables an excellent means of exchange, we do exceedingly well. However, only a small number of families in each of the neighborhoods we serve have ever been willing to even give us a try. Why? The biggest reason concerns the question of "how to pickup or deliver when nobody is home?". More specifically, the basic function of stores -- to enable exchange -- is missing; and since most folks are unconfortable with having their clothes left unattended outside their door, most won't even order in the first place. ...And regardless of whether the delivered good is drycleaning, groceries, books or most anything else, the missing function of stores is significantly constraining the entire consumer-direct economy; yet amazingly, far too few even seem to have noticed.
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