With any technology adoption there seems to always be an ebb and flow as to what has been delivered yesterday, today and then tomorrow – it seems to go around in a continuous cycle. Take cloud computing and the concept of putting computing power at the centre of a network, much like the mainframes of yesteryear. We seem to take one idea, move away from it, and then miraculously move back towards it again. Agreed the latter is usually in a better, more informed and thought through way, but one has to ask that if we had just stayed with the original model and invested in the development of that continuously would we be further on than we are today?
Another area that looks to be reverting back to the good old days is the internet, well actually retail. For many years we have been told about the death of the high street as retailers move online or new online only retailers set up shop. However with the internet comes downsides, notably the issue around same day delivery, testing goods and returns. Some of these issues are looking to be resolved with Amazon recently announcing same day delivery. But for those of you who have sold items on eBay or tried to return an item bought on the internet, the hassle of having to find packaging and posts goods is tiresome to say the least.
Today news comes that Ebuyer (a great resource for cheap electronics) is losing their MD over a disagreement about the direction of the business. He believes the business needs to look at opening up high street stores and the rest of the management team disagree. However having the ability to distribute goods directly to customers and upsell through a personal interaction is a benefit long lost in the world of the internet. Even the likes of Amazon are desperately trying to work out their high street strategy as they look for new areas of growth. Who would have thought that a company like Argos would have had the right model for an internet sales goliath like Amazon?
So I don’t think the high street is dead, it is just being reinvented as we look to regress from the internet (as far as retail is concerned) and look to do what we used to do, but only better.