Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Starbucks effect?   posted by Razib @ 6/16/2007 11:54:00 AM

As Some Grow Weary of Web, Online Sales Lag:
...Nancy F. Koehn, a professor at Harvard Business School who studies retailing and consumer habits, said that the leveling off of e-commerce reflected the practical and psychological limitations of shopping online. She said that as physical stores have made the in-person buying experience more pleasurable, online stores have continued to give shoppers a blase experience. In addition, online shopping, because it involves a computer, feels like work.

Where do these psychological limitations come from? I think some if it is pretty obviously specified on the innate level. We're a social species. The great evolutionary biologist William D. Hamilton famously did his pioneering work on kin selection in London train stations because of his loneliness. It is one thing to worry about the de-humanizing effect of modern technology, but it is important to remember at the end of the day we do remain human.