The Swashbuckler has just been informed of the death of online retailing. Though rumors have persisted for some time, and in fact, have been previously proven quite premature, this time the trouble seems to be backed up by cold, hard facts.
According to numbers cited in the New York Times, the growth of online retailing has slowed, perhaps for the long term. What does this mean? Well, obviously, it means that most retail sales happen in retail stores. Retail stores account for nearly 20 TIMES the volume of online sales. That’s where the real action is. And if the growth of online sales is in decline, this can only mean that the bulk of sales will continue to be where they are: in the store.
This is not wholly surprising. There are intractable issues, as the economists might say. Atoms are atoms. People like to see stuff before they buy it. People like to touch it, try it on, and play with it. Equally important, people like the social aspect of shopping. It’s not just a hunt, it’s more like a journey.
If this sounds too out-there to you, just remember, you’re one of the subset of the total population who actually reads four paragraphs down on an unfamiliar blog. You’re in the minority. Get out from behind your computer sometime and hit the mall. It’s a whole world waiting to be discovered.
Btw, once there, if you’re itching to buy something, but nervous about the price, bring your mobile web-equipped cell phone with you.