By Ira Kalb
The Internet has turned out to be a very convenient channel for distributing products. Buyers can…
- search for what they want,
- find products that fit their needs,
- compare prices,
- read reviews on the products and sellers,
- order products 24/7…
without leaving the comfort of their home or place of business.
The problem is that for products that are not in digital form, buyers have to wait for packages to be physically sent via common carriers or through the mail. Too often, shopping carts are abandoned once charges are shown. Currently, this is the bottleneck in the process. The only way to overcome this bottleneck, if you need the product quickly, is to find a local store that has it in stock. Of course, buyers still have to find a way to get to the store as they worry about time, traffic, parking, and other inconveniences (or use a pricey courier service).
There are some interesting technologies available (and on the horizon) that might provide a solution to the problems related to physically distributing products. In particular, drones and 3-D printers hold a lot of promise in the not so distant future.