18 December 2006

Despite the massive uptake of shopping on the Internet, UQ Business School’s Dr David Parker believes many people will still hit the shops this Christmas.

Dr Parker said there would always be people who actually enjoyed the experience of shopping with like-minded shoppers.

“People like to shop for the social interaction or to fulfil hunter-gatherer urges,” he said.

Dr Parker said full acceptance of home shopping would only come about when the computer was replaced by the television as the interface to the Internet.

“Only when people can use their TV remote to select shopping sites will Internet shopping be universally taken up," he said.

“The relatively recent availability of bandwidth data streaming technology will undoubtedly help.

“Whether we like or dislike the concept of purchasing on the Internet, the fact remains that it is a commercially convincing option for most businesses.

“Of the 260 million or so PCs currently in use in developed countries, some 30 million users are active customers of buying from Net sites and the average user spends about 20 hours per month browsing and sourcing information.

“The chance for trading business to business and selling business to consumer in this global market of an estimated 5 billion computer users by the year 2020 are limitless.

“Concepts such as integrated communities offer new and exciting opportunities for us all in the way that we trade, communicate and seek information.

A senior lecturer in business operations management at UQ Business School, Dr Parker believes one of the implications of home shopping will be in the increasing importance of localised distribution functions, particularly to meet the demands of the time-poor consumer.

“How we deliver to the home and when we deliver to the customer remains an interesting challenge for logisticians,” he said.

For more information contact Cathy Stacey (07) 3365 6179 or 0434 074 372.