Thursday, February 22, 2007

Toys 'R' Us boss: ecommerce to rise to 10% of retail

At the recent ETails 2007 conference and exhibition, Jerry Storch (the CEO of Toys 'R' Us) predicted that ecommerce would top out at 10% of retail spend. His argument seems to be based on the idea that the cost of driving to a store is much less than the cost of shipping items to homes.

But this is only true if customers place a minimal value on their own time. It is hard to spend less than 15 minutes in a shop and if the trip entails driving, parking and then searching within the store it can easily stretch to 45 minutes. Even at the minimum wage of £5.35 per hour, 45 minutes is 'worth' £4 - a figure that is close to a typical P&P charge. Add in more time, petrol and parking (not to mention other car costs) and costs can easily exceed P&P.

If the item you want is out of stock then you either have to come back or find it somewhere else, adding even more time to the transaction. Buying online can also remove risks from the process - research is easier and you are much more likely to find your item in stock.

So perhaps ecommerce will go well beyond 10%.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Isn't the real isue the weight/volume:price ratio....