Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Point & Counterpoint: Experience vs Convenience

An interesting debate has been going on about the future of physical things in the face of so many virtual options. What will happen to paper books with the wave of eBooks, especially when one of the leading newspapers abroad recently claimed that their online readership has overtaken the print for the first time in their history.
Related to that has been the physical stores Vs Online shopping debate.
In my mind it boils down to experience Vs convenience. Will there be a time when customers will completely forgo experience in favour of convenience? Many online shopping fans have been espousing this and they look forward to the same. However, given human nature I somehow don’t think that the appeal of physical experience can ever die down and therefore physical stores will not disappear.
The question then arises whether this might happen for a particular category or a particular format? Will any specific space in retail become go completely online and the physical ones disappear?
I hope not and recently read an article which validates my view by reporting how online retailers are now seeking physical space by opening brick & mortar stores or at least connect point. Experience might prevail over convenience after all.


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