When Will eCommerce Go Local?

In case you guys don’t already know a website called Kozmo.com tried to start an Amazon-like website back in 2000 that targeted the local markets. The guy who started this site came up with the idea when he realized that there were no eCommerce stores that could deliver the products he needed within a few hours. Because of the dotcom bubble Kozmo.com tanked and nobody has attempted to create a site like it since then. But I still think the idea is legitimate. I believe that sometime in the future every single retail business is going to have their own local eCommerce shop. People are going to be able to order from these shops and have their products delivered immediately like pizza. Do you think this is every going to happen? If so, when?

Only about 8% of retail purchases are made online but well over 50% are influenced by online research / information. Shopping has really already gone “web” and “web” local…

The transactional impact is already happening too. You’ve got Site to Store options where you can buy online, pick up in store. You’ve got Amazon prime at 2 days now and making a push for 1 day. And you’ve got a select number of online companies doing their own local delivery.

As shoppers we don’t care about divisions, logistics or any other internal stuff. The mantra is we want it, get it to us but stores and web teams have struggled with this not because of technology but rather their own walls. Merchants have built out separate teams with no benefit to store sales, thus they live in isolation that way. Web teams are composed of people who buy a lot online, thus they’re limited in seeing the value of the store. Local businesses who are most likely to see the return on being truly multi-channel just lack the resources, so they’re limited too.

To your point there’s a HUGE opportunity here and it’s hardly being capitalized on but it has started. The way things are going now I suspect we’ll see big returns from Amazon – not because they’re geniuses at this but because everyone else is sitting on the sidelines while they watch the world demand something and slowly build up to deliver it.

Well if you order from AutoZone and they have the part in stock for example you get it within 1-2 hours. I understand what you mean though, and I am sure it will be like that soon.

  • Daniel :slight_smile:

I think this is soon going to take pace because, for the startups its always easy to target the local markets than to target wider areas. Be it the apparels or gadgets or any XYZ items, if people can buy stuff online, its always easy for them place an order. The only thing which hinders the growth of local eCommerce is the trust which people don’t have in local businesses. People would rather want to go and see the product and then purchase if the goods are being delivered from local place. Could there be a solution to this?

[FONT=verdana]I don’t think the idea is realistic.

You envisage a situation in which “every single retail business is going to have their own local eCommerce shop”. That would mean a small shop, such as a convenience store, having delivery staff on call all day and all evening, waiting for orders to come it. They would have to purchase and maintain vehicles; have somewhere to park the vehicles when not in use; have the resources to immediately process the orders as they come it; and so on. I don’t see that happening.

Nor do I think it’s an attractive idea from the customer’s point of view. That’s mainly because it requires the customer to wait at home for the delivery for perhaps a two-hour period or more. That might work for pizzas, but who would want to have to constantly be at home to receive deliveries for all their day-to-day needs?

We already have on-line ordering and local deliveries from big supermarkets. These are very popular, but they still only account for a tiny percentage of supermarket sales. The fact is that people actually enjoy going to shops. That might seem strange. Personally, I dislike going into many kinds of shops, but I know I’m in the minority. For many people, shopping is an important part of their lives. It’s a social thing: a chance to get out of the house and interact with other people.

Of course, e-commerce will grow. But the idea that every corner shop, convenience store, small food shop, etc. will want to process on-line orders and deliver to local homes is not going to happen.


While I agree with your overarching argument it’s worth noting that ecommerce is far more than online orders and home shipping that will greatly increase the mix.

When a store takes pre-orders for a product or processes an order online for in-store pickup that’s ecommerce. When a local restaurant does takeout online that’s ecommerce. And many, many more variations, some which I’m sure we have yet to even consider.

We are actually already seeing this in an increasing number of stores, apparently. For example, you can now order pizza online with Domino’s pizza. This is how retail and restaurants are going to work in the future. Maybe not all the shops, but maybe the franchises and and chains, or bigger stores. Therefore, in way, ecommerce will surely become local as companies deploy means to get increasingly closer to their local customers.

Wow, its hard to believe that didn’t work. But yes I think with the growing eCommerce industry it is bound to work. Probably didn’t work back in 2000 because people were not so comfortable with buying online.

The idea is to make available goods and services within the shortest span of time. This will soon become possible as more and more people realize the benefits of this option

“Getting the product I order online within 1-2 hrs, or may be 5 hours, is just awesome.” But the mindset of buyers is a bit different, people browse through the web to see for products which are “new” + “different” + “rare”, and of-course it should be exported or shipped, and that adds to their satisfaction. They wish for products not available locally. They wish for products with a tag pinned to it which reads “MADE IN XYZ” - and the XYZ should ‘without an option’ stand for a foreign country. :rolleyes: People are ready to wait for atleast 10 days to get delivered a product they crave for. And also if local ecommerce stores are set, people would very well get there to purchase their goods, rather trust the ecommerce site to feed their “credit or debit” card details (always with a fright of scam)