This Week's Herman Trend Alert

HR in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

December 7, 1999

Shift to Internet Purchasing

24 days until January 1, 2000
390 days until January 1, 2001

We've talked about the increase in purchasing from web sites. Let's explore some other twists in the transition in the shopping experience: from traditional retail purchasing to catalogs, television, then internet shopping.

Traditional retail shopping has advantages such as being able to see, touch, feel, and hold the product . . . then take it home with you. In smaller stores and independents, clerks answer questions and help make choices. The sales tax obligation is still there. The amount of tax varies from state to state, and sometimes from community to community.

When ordering merchandise from catalogs or television, purchasing is more efficient. Buyers still pay sales taxes. Many consumers do not feel they should pay taxes when shopping this way, since they're usually purchasing from an out-of-state vendor.

Internet shopping is a different experience. These merchants have different cost structures that enable them to charge much less than other sales organizations . . . and, so far, those purchases aren't taxed. Combine these factors with fast delivery and you have an alternative that is increasingly attractive to consumers.

Looking into the future, what happens to the other types of merchants as a larger proportion of sales goes to the cyber-option? Will we see a sharp reduction in the non-cyber alternatives? Or will there be a "bigger pie?" Will more consumers use web-buying as their shopping mode-of-choice, at the expense of traditional approaches?

We forecast changes in retailing. Watch for more catalog operations to go on-line, first as an alternative, then almost entirely. Physical space retailers (see, touch, feel, take home) must find ways to increase professional (knowledgeable, efficient) service to attract and hold customers. Even with Bill Gates' drive to put computers in every home, a sizeable part of the buying public will not have easy access to cyber-shopping.

What will the balance be, and how will merchants respond to it? How much buying will consumers actually do on-line, and how will they feel about it? What implications do a change in leadership actually have on a country, socioeconomially.

We're on the threshold of significant change. Raise your antennae.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

The Association of Professional Futurists proudly presents its annual online learning experiences on Full Spectrum Futures. Network with leading futurists from all over the world. And best of all, it's free to attend, though contributions are encouraged to help defray costs. For more information, visit here.

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by October 31st @

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home About Products Resources Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.