Friday, July 19, 2013

LBC topic - Shopping/Shopping online

This week's topic comes to us from our resident Dame Quixote in India - Padmum.

Granted - shopping in brick and mortar has its place -

Clothes shopping is an addiction for some that cannot be replaced by online shopping


I hate to shop. Always have, always will. Seems there was never a store big enough to hold all of the stuff I like to fiddle with and look at. At least until the Internet appeared and online shopping became available. I was a big fan of for quite a while.

In fact I make a living these days writing online product descriptions for the company that gave me my nickname. So I have a vested interest in online shopping called job security.  Or lack thereof - LOL. I guess that makes this paragraph a disclaimer of sorts.

It has been fun being involved in an industry that literally exploded on the scene and has experienced exponential growth. initially owned the business model.  They thrived - sales wise. As to profitability - not so much. Out of 60+ billion dollars in sales in 2012 they managed to show just over 100 million in profit. It doesn't take a genius to do that math.  It's called razor-thin profitability. But what a selection - all under one roof.  Mine.

The game is to drive people to a site and then convert as many as possible to customers.  Sell them something. The same applies to brick and mortar retailers. That makes it a marketing game and it succeeds only when the site delivers a pleasant shopping experience - including having the products available. Like brick and mortar retailers, online retailers rarely get more than one chance with a customer.

Here in the states it was often cheaper to buy online simply because there were no sales taxes collected on many sales transactions. I have no idea if that implies in other countries and it is rapidly changing here. If the online merchant has a brick and mortar presence in a state it can and must collect sales applicable sales taxes for purchases by customers within that state. Take my company for example - we are everywhere so there's no free ride on sales taxes.  Amazon has distribution centers all over and their tax-free zone is rapidly diminishing.  Seems too many local and state  governments realized how much lost tax revenue from online sales was costing them in real budgetary terms.

So I am clearly in the online shoppers club.  Charter member. Shopping clearly has an effect on most of us - be it brick and mortar or online.

What kind of shopper are you?????


  1. All three songs are favorites of mine. The Vespa image brings a lot of memories including The Roman Holiday and Come September.

    I do most of my shopping by telephone! For the rest, I go online or get Ranjan to do it for me.

    Basically, I am just too damned lazy to change from my lungi and vest!

  2. About Amazon, what you should be looking at is their return on investment. High volume low margin operations financed through small working capital and low equity is a highly desirable state of affairs.

  3. My needs are few these days, so apart from food, I buy little. The woman in me likes to browse and check out the colours and styles each season, but nowadays seldom see any 'real new' ideas, they are all variations of styles I have worn in the past. I never joined the must have (insert gadget) brigade. My sewing machine was the single most expensive purchase I made and it is now twenty years old. It has certainly paid its way in that time. My laptop was a gift.

    Alas the 'on street' or 'on-line retailers had better not depend on me to make their fortunes!