Online shopping has peaked say experts – but what do they know?

Market researchers are telling us that online shopping has all but peaked. Apparently, these “experts” tell us that the growth in Internet retail is set for a serious slow down. Indeed, one of the market analysts says, “most of the people who are ever going to be buying online are online.”

Run that past me again…most people who are going to buy anything from a web site are already doing it? Oh dear….then perhaps any business planning Internet growth ought to give up now. There is no future in it.

Well guess what – it’s tosh. Just have a think for a moment. Less than one sixth of the world’s population is online. Even if you consider the world’s affluent west, still less than half of them use the Internet. There are cheap, power free laptops being developed for the Third World and prices are plummeting in the West every week. I saw a Hewlett Packard printer on sale yesterday for £241. When it was launched, just four weeks ago, it was £378. Reduced pricing is bound to have an impact on Internet access, meaning there is considerable room for growth in the numbers coming online.

Also, consider that most businesses have yet to start selling anything online. Only last week I wrote about the fact that less than 1% of businesses get all their sales via the Internet and that only one in five firms can handle online transactions. If there is any reduced growth in Internet shopping it’s merely because companies are not offering enough.

For instance, go into your local town today or to your village market. What if the shelves were mostly empty or most of the shops barricaded closed? What would you do? You’d probably try another town or market because the one you are visiting is so bereft.

It’s the same online. Internet shopping is slowing down it’s growth simply because there is not enough to buy. We can actually expect the reverse of what market researchers are telling us. There is huge potential for massive sales growth online. But only if business stop tinkering with the Internet and get on and open shop.

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