The Internet of (our) Things
E-Commerce vs Brick & Mortar
As the Internet grows utopically deeper and deeper into our sentient lives, business as we know it and all our other life activities may soon be fully absorbed by this invisible network.
At the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland 2015, Google's ex-CEO and chairman Eric Schmidt was asked about the future of the internet. His reply was that "it will simply disappear", that the network in-combination with multiple IP addresses, wearables and sensors will blur our ability to differentiate from reality and virtuality. As scary as that may sound, he was referring to the "Internet of Things," where internet-enabled devices will be easily programmed to be able to work on their own, for the pure sake of better efficiency. Schmidt also believes our interactions with these devices will eventually be totally seamless.
Taking this concpet forward and keeping up with the developing cultures of connectivity and communication it is evident that the internet has made our lives easier, quicker and convenient today. That being said, for all new initiatives, may it be commerce or non-commerce related, the wiser choice when compared to brick and mortar spaces would be to first have an online presence. Then again this would only apply to cities and towns that have a good and accessible IT infrastructure - for areas that yet struggle with internet connectivity e-commerce and an online presence may not be the best choice simply due to the unavailable possibility if being connected and/or have access to the online world.
It is true that the internet continues to re-physicalise business processes from brick and mortar shops into the algorithmic and the binary; which could force repurposement and change the function of these same physical spaces. On the other hand it is also true that our constant thirst to quicken the speed of our lives is the reason to why e-commerce is taking a strong precedent over physical shops and stores. We simply want to do as much as we can within the same day and more if possible.
E-commerce in many ways and for many businesses is a winner considering local logistical problems of stock management, late payments, returns and other market barriers that become much simpler or even disappear via online platforms, and this is true especially for consumer businesses.
Though brick and mortar shops allow you the intimacy of a human experience and give you access to feel communal by simply being in the presence of another. There is not a way of the internet (just yet) that is able to match this experience in absolution. The binary is yet not able to fully understand the complexities of living in a community and most of all understand the intimacy between two entities.
In a Utopic reality we would want the sensitivities and intimacies of a Brick and Mortar shop mixed-in with the world of the internet possibly via e-commerce. So essentially we want an amalgamantion of them both!
And there's what we think about E-commerce vs Brick & Mortar