n The Retail and Marketing Review - Retail or e-tail? Brick or click? Is e-tailing the ideal solution for all industries? : opinion

Volume 12 Number 1
  • ISSN :



"How do you evaluate a technology that has completely captured the public's imagination? A technology that has come to indicate innovativeness, where failure to appreciate it is taken as a sure sign of belonging to the wrong side of the generational divide. Which has led, almost overnight, to the creation of new companies, brands, industries and fortunes."1 Contrary to popular belief, this statement was made in the early 1920's and is not based on e-tailing, the internet or the mobile generation, but rather based on the vigour with which wireless radio technology was suddenly taking the world by storm. If a supposed business expert almost 100 years ago were to predict a communication channel even more powerful and vigorous than this, with an even greater influence on the human race, their expertise would certainly be questioned. In 1920, one could not imagine the ability to purchase anything from clothing to groceries or even a type of service, any other way than face to face. The ability to browse through a catalogue of options, customise an order, finalise the payment and arrange delivery on a personal handheld computer by the click of a few buttons, would sound ridiculous. Today anyone from 13 year old youngsters to 80 year old golden agers can order almost anything their hearts desire online and have it delivered to their doorstep.

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