Friday, Oct. 21, 2011

Online Shopping Will Flop

Today it's difficult to imagine a world without online shopping, where people placed remote orders through telephones and went to actual stores to find what they were looking for. But in 1966, before the Internet even existed, TIME published an essay called "The Futurists," which imagined what the world would be like in the year 2000. Besides guessing the social, physical and technological changes in the world, TIME pontificated that remote shopping, while possible, would never become popular because "women like to get out of the house, like to handle the merchandise, like to be able to change their minds." That may be true, but it doesn't stop women — and men — from giving e-commerce a boost every year. In fact, online shopping seems to be trending upward, with approximately $38 billion in U.S. retail sales reported in the first quarter of 2011 alone — up 12% from the previous year. We admit, we were wrong.