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Driven to Shop? The Role of Transportation in Future Home Shopping

Publishing details

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This study explores how growth of electronic home shopping will change transportation needs. In today's retail markets, most goods are shipped and people physically travel to stores. These travel activities are likely to change with electronic home shopping. A new class of products are emerging, like music CDs and software, that require no physical distribution, i.e. digital distribution. The majority of products sold through electronic shopping will still require transportation, however. Today, the personal automobile is essential, since stores are often located at a distance, and consumers bear the cost of bringing their purchases home. The willingness of consumers to pay for home-delivery, the logistics for providing it, and its perceived convenience and time-savings may be key to the development of home shopping. This study also discusses how telecommunications may lead to more efficient delivery systems. New types of retail markets may also emerge, based on using telecommunications to establish a market that brings buyers and sellers together, and provides information in lieu of the movement of physical goods. In these electronic markets, the shipping of goods takes place only after telecommunications are used to facilitate a sale. New telecommunication-intensive markets are also emerging in the sale of "perishable" goods. These goods, like last minute-airline or concert tickets, require little physical distribution. However, the final product may generate entirely new trips and travel activity. Finally, it is suggested that electronic home shopping and its travel related activities will depend on the growth and use of other teleservices from the home.

Publication Research Centre

Future Media Research Programme (closed), Centre for Marketing

Series Number



Future Media Working Paper

Available on ECCH


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