Philobiblon: Click and pay

Friday, January 20, 2006

Click and pay

I think you could say online shopping has come of age:

A total of 24 million UK consumers shopped online last year, spending an average of £816 each during the year and £208 over the Christmas period. Sales peaked in the week starting December 5, when £653 million was spent online.

I heard a speaker on Today saying this was 10 per cent of total spend.

Well I do my bit - I'd reckon 90 per cent plus of what I spend is online.

I was thinking about the environmental effects of this - has anyone seen any analysis? It has to greatly cut journeys of consumers to the shops, and mean at least one less journey (from warehouse to shop). It also, presumably, cuts impulse buys and hence consumption. And eBay means that many things are "recycled".

Then a small piece of good news out of Malaysia - a senator has got himself into trouble by divorcing his wife by text:
The prosecuting sharia officer, Mohamad Yusof Sulaiman, had asked for a heavier sentence, saying it would better highlight the seriousness of the offence.
"Cases such as this are happening often these days," he said.
"Even [non-government organisations] have been critical of Islamic laws lately, especially on matrimonial matters which are said to favour certain parties."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

HMV will rue this. They lost a chunk of high-street trade to the supermarkets, a chunk to iTunes and other downloads, and a chunk to Amazon and Play. This Christmas has seen the first real indicators of which high-street stores are going to be wiped out by etailing. If you have shares, pay attention to this.

Having online shopping delivered by superstores may reduce journeys, but small shops in town centres could club together for multi-store deliveries.

Amusingly, economists still refer to 'confidence in the economy' and mortgage rates, bless 'em. These are ripples against the coming tidal wave of personal credit card debt. Many people have already spent their disposable income for the next decade.

The expectation that continuous growth is feasible and anything less is failure, like most things in the world of economics, is completely mad.

I've never met an economist who chose reality over theory, though. The CBI will blame it all on red tape and H&S and the government and leprechauns and anything else they can think of.

In reality, about 70% of new businesses, and maybe 25% of current businesses have little or no inherent profitability anyway. Bad ideas badly implemented, waiting to crash and burn.


1/20/2006 03:03:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

The great problem with economics is that as the investment adverts say: "past performance is no indication of the future", or something like that. I read an interesting piece - forgotten where now - that argued that if property prices kept rising in the West, and it said they could because of cash inflows from the high-saving economies of Asia - we could all basically live off the value of our houses. Who knows? Short answer - not the economists.

1/20/2006 05:49:00 pm  

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