If you are even faintly familiar with this blog, you know that one of the frequent topics is the potential of online opportunities. Derek often relates the success that he has had with his blog and just announced the 30k challenge as an effort to push himself to make more online money. With the success that blogs are achieving these days and the popularity of the internet, I have often wondered whether everything will go online.
If businesses can significantly increase their market by going online and everyday customers can find better prices, why would anyone go anywhere else? Will all transactions, business or otherwise, soon be done with a click of a button? Despite the fact that I spend most of my free time in front of the computer, there is one experience that reassured me that not everything can be successful online.
The Influence of the Internet
I was a freshman in college when Facebook was gaining momentum. It was a year or two old at the time and still restricted to college students. The growth of Facebook is just one sign that within the past 7-8 years, society has changed. In the past few years, we have seen a vast number of online social networks created. Facebook was just the beginning. Later came twitter and various other social sites. Society exists online more and more.
With the increased use of social network sites, people and/or businesses have
finally realized the potential that the internet has. It is a medium that connects
people from around the world. For businesses, it means the potential to reach a world-wide audience, thereby bypassing all geographic limitations. Everyday I am reminded that the possibilities are endless… that is, until one particular
experience reminded me of its limitations.
The Online Experience that Set Things in Perspective
Businesses are taking advantage of the internet to make it easier for you to access their product. Did you know that you can order pizza online? Not only pizza, but groceries as well. Yes, that’s right – groceries. There are sites that allow you to stroll the virtual aisles, adding them to your electronic cart, and checking out without waiting in a line. Once you check out, the order is placed and it is shipped to you. How convenient is that? You would think that the convenience factor would be a huge selling point for grocery stores to go “online.”
While I am not one to be suckered into online promotions, Peapod, a grocery delivery service in my area, was offering a special. The promotion was for $15 off and free shipping. My wife and I were going to be busy one particular weekend and we figured we would give the grocery service a shot. We figured we were going to spend the money whether we used this service or not, so why not give it a shot. I knew one thing for sure – I didn’t want to spend our hard-earned extra income on groceries.
We planned out what we were going to eat for the next 6 days, like any other week, and placed our order. If I knew what we were in for, I wouldn’t have ever bothered. The delivery truck came well after the two hour window that they promised (too many orders, I guess), but that was only the beginning. The delivery guy was nice enough, but since we had ordered so much food, I didn’t get the chance to review the order before he left.
To my surprise, we were missing several items that we were charged for. I
immediately called and they generously took the items off our bill, promising to do better next time (hah! IF there is a next time). To make a long story short, I later discovered that we were missing key ingredients for our main dishes. Not only did we have to hang around our house waiting for the delivery truck, we also had to run to the grocery store later to get the missing items that we needed for our meals that week. Our plan to avoid going to the store had been foiled.
This experience showed me that the world is not ready to be completely online. While I think the idea of ordering your groceries online is ingenious, this horrible experience showed me that some things are just meant to be done in person. It wasn’t just one minor mistake either. It was a handful of major mistakes. This should give you an idea of the limitations of the internet. The internet may provide me with the opportunity to retire early, but no matter how advanced it gets, I don’t believe the possibilities are endless.
Do you think everything will be online soon? Or are some things
impossible to create online?
This post was written by Corey, a staff writer from 20’s Finances and Passive Income to Retire.
AUTHOR Derek Sall
Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.