Is the ‘selfish’ digital world as bad as it’s made out?

There is an on-going, feisty debate about e-commerce vs brick and mortar – often reminding us of the constant threat to physical stores. Chatrooms are filled with the inexorable march of online shopping and the convenience that the internet offers to consumers, enabling them to shop from the comfort of their own homes.

This has been exacerbated by retailer efforts to make it easier to receive your purchase through click and collect – or even drones as recently suggested by amazon – e-commerce is very tempting. Especially if we consider the myriad of online discounts and price-comparisons you can enjoy.

However, in common with the eternal debate about print vs online media where every other day we announce the end of the newspaper, whilst other aficionados proclaim that print is the only way to read, and in some sectors is in rude health (see sales figures of Private Eye). It looks like many of us are not ready to say goodbye to the old ways. And this is not just because we are old fashion or nostalgic, but more because as consumers we are practical.

A recent article from Rhiannon Bury at The Telegraph states that mobile app “near me” have doubled their searches in the last year, ‘as customers realise that buying something in their local town or shopping centre is faster than buying it online’. The article also mentions that the majority of shopping centres are integrated with local towns and are constantly evolving to include more than just shops, aimed at creating community spaces. A report by The Markey Creative has found that 75 per cent of consumers surveyed would not abandon the high street for online shopping.

 This is great news to me and many of my colleagues. Isn’t it lovely to be able to rely on your local high street for food, clothing and services – it gives you the opportunity to spend time in your neighborhood, experience what it has to offer, and most importantly, for the economy to bring new jobs.

In an era where we cannot do anything without our phone or tablet, it is somehow reassuring that this ‘selfish’ digital world is not quite as bad as it’s made out.

Charlotte Fougeres

Account Director

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