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Will Everything Be Online Soon?


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.


  1. There are many things that still will have to be carried out in person, like plumbing for example. But having an online presence could sure enhance the experience and add to the productivity such as a report that would show when the plumber would arrive.

    • Very true CFM. There will need to be a balance between marketing and fulfilling service.

  2. This same question was asked back in the mid and late 90s during the net boom with thoughts of empty storefronts nationwide. Alas, there will always be a place for brick and mortar operations.

    An aside, I’ve been using Peapod for several years and love it.

    • Interesting – do you ever get items that weren’t on your list? or not get items that were on your list?

      • Never gotten anything I didn’t order. A few times in the past couple years they were out of 1 or 2 items. Usually sale items, which happens. And wouldn’t be any different at a store. I think it helps that I’m ordering 2 weeks worth of food.

  3. While I agree that businesses that do not take advantage of the internet get left behind, this actually really saddens me. It creates even more distance, seperation and de-tachment from society. I do not think humans were ever designed to be creatures of solitude.

    Yet there are huge advantages to doing things online for me shopping online would be the only way for me to purchase a gift for my kids. Being homeschooled they are always around me and always go to town with me so I could not purchase anyting in secret.

    The internet gets everything out there to so many people in a way that could not be reproduced in person locally. Yet I think it is important not to leave the “village” behind. We were meant to know our neighbors and lend helping hands. We were meant to watch the neighborhood kids to ensure their safety, we were meant to learn from village mentors and listen to stories around the fire……….K stepping down from my soap box now 🙂

    • I agree with you that there is something missing… but it does help in many ways. I am able to skype with my nephews for example that live thousands of miles away and would otherwise not get to see very often.

  4. After the Internet and AOL got popular, just about everyone predicted we would do everything online by now. And they were clearly wrong since we still have tons of stores that we walk in to. I don’t think everything will be online, especially not very soon. There’s always going to be plenty of need for stores and services that need to exist in the offline world.

  5. There will always be some resisitence to change. The more dramatic the change the more resistence. Some changes will occur generationally. For example, my children view computers differently than I do. Everything is becoming more mobile and that means more will be online.

    • Yes, it is interesting to see the change in generations.

  6. just this morning I read an article about a new rebellion against facebook be young people. This could spill over into all aspects of the web.

    • Hmm. I doubt it will go very far, but that is just my opinion. 🙂 Facebook is taking over.. and will stay that way for years to come.

  7. I think that we will definitely see more and more businesses begin to automate and use web based services. The best that any business can do is to be prepared and ahead of the curve.

    • Yeah, it does seem to be a race of sorts. 🙂

  8. I don’t think everything will be online. My fiancee would die. She loves going in and shopping and trying things on. I think the clothing industry will stay a hands-on industry. Girls are too persnickety about the way things fit and clothes vary too often.

    • Very good point Jon. I didn’t even think of that, but it’s so true!

    • I don’t even buy MY clothes online, and I’m both a guy and a techie who loves to order online to save big!

      Tried to buy a couple pairs of jeans online a few years ago, and I’ll never do it again. They didn’t fit and it was very inconvenient to return them.

      Now, I bite the bullet and brave the stores. I’d rather try something on and KNOW it’s going to fit… plus if I have a problem, I just drive a mile or two and take it back. Yes, it costs a few dollars more, but to me it’s worth it.

  9. I like being able to pick out my meat and veg and I like browsing through the grocery store. Don’t think I will ever go for online grocery shopping. I have tried to buy cloths online, a couple of pieces turned out be amazing fit and others I had to return and gave away. When it comes to clothes and shoes, I definitely do it in person.

    • Yes, I certainly understand the shoes aspect. There are some clothing items that I can get away with online, but not shoes.

  10. I think like with everything else there needs to be some balance. I don’t think it is reasonable to have everything online. In fact I think it will be a detriment. Social interaction face to face has been declining already. If we can do everything online people will no longer leave their homes and interaction will cease to exist. Plus, older generations won’t be able to function. Some don’t know how to use the internet and others can’t afford it. This would leave them unable to access basic things like groceries. The web has it’s advantages but it is not the solution for everything if you ask me.

    • Excellent points as always, Miss T – especially the point about not everyone being able to afford it.

  11. Technically, I buy most everything online. But, many items I need to “see” in person first before I make the purchase. For example, I like to see and try on clothes prior to buying. I would rather do it this way rather than buy it and if it doesn’t fit, have to go through the hassle of returning it.

    Also, I need to test drive a car. I find/research them online, but I have to actually drive it before buying it.

    • Yeah, buying a car online without seeing it is pretty crazy, but I’ve heard people that have done it! Sometimes it’s a money pit, and other times, it becomes one of the best buys ever! You just never know.

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