This age of "click and order" not "brick and mortar" has changed the way we live.
A few years ago, I started a small retail site on Yahoo. To our surprise, we had thousands of dollars of sales, and in the months of October and November, sales skyrocketed. It was a beginning of “Internet” shopping, which heralded a current multi-billion dollar market in the USA.
Even the grand old traditional retail stores, have web sites, and often merchandise can be purchased cheaper “on line” than in the stores. It is similar with services, such as airline tickets. Southwest Airlines taught the industry that to give a discount for “on line” reservation tickets would earn the passenger a cheaper air fare. “Click and order, not brick and mortar”.
On line music, on line books, on line cars, on line clothes, on line religion, on line food, on line equipment, and even on line purchases of homes and real estate.
It is a new age, and one that again attacks the concept of large central business districts. It challenges the concept of huge shopping malls, auto dealers, and business in general. Yet a huge part of society has learned to “check prices” on line, with almost instant response, to find the best deals on almost anything from Wind Turbines to air tickets.
It reminds us of the old Star Trek films, where Captain Kirk, says: “Computer, give me all the data on earth’s history” and within moments the computer has it for him. The days of the old fashioned libraries have changed, as libraries have had to change, to maintain viability.
· Will Libraries and book stores become obsolete?
· Will central office buildings become less valuable as millions more move to home offices?
· Will movie theatres become obsolete when every home has movies on demand?
· Will huge auto dealerships disappear as more and more people buy on line?
· Will retail stores feel the pinch and convert everything to “on line” merchandising?
· What impact will “click and order” vs “Brick and Mortar” have on highways, traffic, demographics, social and economic growth trends, housing?
· Will every house and condominium have internet hard wired, and become a communication hub?
Last year on national T.V., the former Chairman of G.E., Jack Welch said: “I wish we at G.E. had seen and been a part of the IT and internet revolution. It is the most dynamic financial development in history.”
Soon, every telephone will have the capability of a typical lap top computer of today. Then, the world will fully be wired. What a revolution. What changes it means.
When I get up, and check my “Google” for news, and use my I-Phone, to map the nearest StarBucks, and then read my daily news on my telephone, while checking for messages and business communications, I think…what a new world. We are the Star Bucks, I-Phone, Apple Computer, Google Generation. We are the “Connected” generation that I described in my book: “FLOWERS FACING THE SUN” 7 years ago. That book was a great success in Asia, and American readers thought it too progressive. It now, upon reading it again, seems to be talking about today. Except it was published 7 years ago.