Day-to-day shopping as we know it will disappear in the western world

Day-to-day shopping as We Know It Will Disappear in the Western world

Chairman: Iegor Trieshchov

Pro: Philippe Stark and Emiel Aerts

Con: Nick van Marwijk, Thomas Wallisch

Introduction (Iegor):

Not too many years ago most people shopped in their local stores completely with parking and weather problems. Even when online shopping became available, people felt uncomfortable using their credit cards and giving their personal information to cyber-shops. All that has changed.

In 1979, Michael Aldrich, piloted a system, enabling transaction processing between consumers and businesses. This was the first demonstrated concept of what would come to be known as e-commerce.

eCommerce it is trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web

E-commerce has slowly but consistently taken a larger proportion of consumer time and spend. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia estimates that in the UK online shopping is equivalent to 39% of retail industry growth.

Australians spend online is projected to increase by about $10 billion within the next five years. Consumers may still be concerned about the security of online shopping, but more and more of them are prepared to buy on the web. Faster delivery, easier return policies, and many sites offering free shipping have also increased the desirability of online buying. (IBIS World research forecasts an 8.6% per year increase in online revenues over the next five years.)

Growth of online shopping has been characterized by strong consumer demands and the increasing number and type of goods available. Physical stores are moving at least part of their companies online in order to cut costs.

It is harming the physical sales channel. These difficulties amplify the phenomenon of loss of market shares.

Whether big or small, physical stores are closing one after the other and their future seems sealed.

Assuming that these hypotheses are confirmed, in addition to economic and social impacts resulting from the disappearance of tens of thousands of shops of our environment, we will see a substantial change in our towns and cities.

Will going shopping disappear as well as window shopping? What about the role of social link played by shops?

The growth of our industrial world is strongly linked to an intense production of new products. What will be the economic and social effects related to the globalization of the shoping on-line? How many workers will company lay off in order to adjust their production capacities to the decreasing demand of new products?


Philippe (pro): 3 Arguments

Thank you Egor for introducing the motion and hello audience, and i also thank you for being here today.

I would like to mention following three arguments to highlight my motion in favour.

  • Money: Consumers can benefit from the savings of online shopping, especially when they combine it with special promotional coupons, and other consumer incentives. Finally, another very important aspect of any shopping experience is trying to save as much money as possible. One reason that people enjoy online shopping is that you can often find a product more cheaply online than you can in stores. However, to counter this fact, there are also shipping costs more often than not, and these can make up for the money you save with the base price. Yes online shopping is better than offline because we can shop at any of our favorite shop and can get the delivery on same day itself and there are many courier service provider one of them is . We can get various discount and offers while shopping.
  • Convenience: One of the things people care most about when shopping is convenience. Most people don’t enjoy spending endless hours shopping, whether in a store or online, and it is always nice to get these experiences over with as soon as possible. This is one of the main reasons that online shopping has become so popular, as it allows you to switch stores and products by clicking a button and is time saving as well.
  • Promotion and Reputation: Consumers do reviews for other consumers. Here, the famous term, word-of-mouth plays an important role for online retailers. People trust the online reviews they read. As the above study shows, 68% of consumers deem other consumers a reliable source for online reviews. Contrasting this stand 17% of British consumers who deem product reviews on company websites as trustworthy.

Emiel (pro): 3 Arguments

  • Price comparison: With shopping online, it is very easy to do price comparisons for a given item. Once you have determined what you want to purchase, you can see if you are getting the best deal with just a few clicks. And making it even easier, there are now search engines specifically designed for price comparisons, and these sites will often even calculate and include any shipping charges, so you get to compare the actual, total cost of the item.
  • Access to a wider range: Products can be found that are not available locally. Many clothing shops have started to offer shipping services worldwide. For companies, this offers access to a wider customer segment. The incentive for customers to be engaged in such shopping activities, is that they can purchase products for which they normally would have to travel across borders for. This results in that besides there is easier comparison, there is also more accessibility to that potentially much better deal than one will ever find in local shops.
  • Reduction of costs for companies, reduction of costs for customers: Many companies online provide excellent values because they do not have to pay the overhead of owning a physical business that will cost them insurance, employee pay, taxes and more. Especially in densely populated areas where the renting prices are insanely high. This improves the competitive position of companies, forming an incentive for companies to abolish offline transactions, and switch to merely online trade.


Nick (con):

– The rise in shipping costs is just one of many reasons why offline shopping will never disappear. It is well documented that shipping’s price are rising but according to the financial website,  postal prices for sending rose by 3% above the inflation rate in the UK. Companies sometimes offer free items or products of low charge online but inflate the cost of shipping so high that they profit from the purchase. One example of this is the free software products that are advertised. You may get three free software CDs but the $14.95 shipping cost exceeds the real value of the product.  In these cases it is cheaper for the customer to purchase the item offline for a slightly higher price than purchasing the product online with high shipping costs.

– Besides inflated shipping costs another major issue with online shopping is the missing pre-purchase interaction with the product. How many times does it happen that you order a product online, and when it arrives it is not what you expected or missing something? Online shopping doesn’t allow for physical contact with the product, making it impossible for you to be 100% sure of your purchase. Some may not find that this is relevant to buying a product, but many feel that they need to see and maybe interact with a product in real life first before purchasing it. Depending on what kind of product you want to buy, up to 80% of shopping is still done offline. It is undeniable that shopping online is convenient but as many of you know,  when buying something online you risk not always getting what you expect.

Thomas (Con)

– Not always knowing if a site is legitimate and safe to shop on and running the risk of fraud. Many big online sites have certificates to prove their legitimacy, but to the average shopper this means nothing and they have no way of checking if this certificate is real or not. Also very many of smaller online shopping websites (besides the big ones like ebay or amazon) don’t have these certificates, so customers have no chance of verifying them. Example from UK: Of the 150,000 fraud cases reported to the Home Office, more than one third were “purchase frauds” such as online shopping scams.

– Convenience of online shopping cannot be denied, however there is also a lot of convenience for customers in offline shopping as well. Customer support plays a big part in this. A lack of information and assistance about a product or service resembles 56% of why people abandon online shopping. It is more convenient for customers to have someone explain or help them with a product face to face, where the employee can physically show them how something works, than hear about it by a bored call center worker. Another convenience is that the customers are able to take home their purchase right away, and not have to wait for it for days. Both of these increase customer satisfaction and highlight the convenience of offline shopping.


U.K employees should be able to work from home!

The Chairman in this debate will be Thomas Wallisch.

The people in favor of this motion are Iegor Trieshchov and Nick van Marwijk.

Against this motion are Philippe Stark and Emiel Aerts


The number of people working from home has risen to its highest level since records began, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Over the last decade and a massive 4.2 million UK workers are working from home – that’s 13.9% of the workforce! Many of us would love to sit in the comfort of our own home and watch the pay checks roll in, but in truth, working from home also has some aspects that need to be considered before applied. Therefore the following motion will be analyse from two sides.

Argument 1 (Pro):

Citrix, the leader in mobile workspace solutions, today revealed the results from its study with Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) into the potential economic impacts of a more widespread ‘work from anywhere’ culture in the UK. The study found that 96% of the UK knowledge worker population that have the option of flexible working utilise this opportunity. This could potentially add an extra £11.5bn per year to the UK economy through the more productive use of available working hours. In addition, 94% of UK knowledge workers would opt to work from home on average two days per working week. If organisational culture throughout the United Kingdom changed to allow for this, there would be savings in commuter costs of £3.8bn, with a further reduction of 533 million hours spent travelling to and from work annually (increasing these savings to £7.1bn the commuter value of time is taken into account).Such changes would result in an improved work-life balance as well as considerable financial gain for individuals.

Argument 2 (Pro):

In addition to improving the work/life balance of those currently in full-time employment, today’s report also indicates that the desire for more flexible working opportunities could deliver significant benefits to the wider UK economy by engaging people previously excluded. The research revealed that:

  • 68% of those currently unemployed, retired, carers, disabled, long-term sick or a full-time house-husband/wife would be inclined to start working if given the opportunity to work flexibly
  • Should this economically inactive part of the UK population re-enter the workforce due to a change in working culture, this could boost the UK’s GVA by up to £78.5bn (adding 4.7% to the total UK GDP)
  • 60% of part-time working respondents indicated that they would be inclined to work more hours if given the opportunity to work remotely. With 745,000 part-time workers in the UK who would like to work remotely, this could potentially create an additional £1.6bn in GVA output.

Sources for Argument 1 + 2 (Pro):

Argument 3 (Pro):

Embracing remote workers can reduce costs and improve productivity. For example, some businesses can save 8,000 pounds a year for each employee who telecommutes. Office costs drop with fewer people on-site, while salaries may be lower for employees in the hinterlands. Moreover, many employees focus better and produce more without the distractions of an office.

Source for Argument 3 (Pro):

Argument 4 (Pro):

Savings in Travel Time –  By ditching the commute you gain back any time you’d normally spend travelling. The average daily commute time across the UK is 47 minutes. What would you do with the extra time? Another hour of work? An early morning workout?

Argument 5 (Pro):

Flexibility – Stepping away from the office environment allows you to set your own working schedule so that you can prioritise more effectively. On top of flexible working hours you also have complete flexibility over your working environment – whether that’s your home office, a restaurant, a coffee shop or even your local library.Flexibility also enlarges the applicant pool. Being open to physically handicapped or geographically isolated workers can improve the prospects for finding a highly qualified candidate

Sources 4 + 5 (Pro):

Argument 1 (Con):

Isolation/Lack of social interaction – Working in an office, you become accustomed to the day to day chat with co-workers, work related discussions and team brainstorming sessions. This is very different compared to working by yourself at home which can be quite isolated once you are removed from such a social environment

Argument 2 (Con):

Lack of Competitive Spirit – Let’s face it. Nothing feels better than doing a better job than your peers. Having the highest levels of productivity, creating impressive quality work. In fact, some of us rely heavily on the element of competition to motivate ourselves at work. A well fostered team environment can be a fantastic asset in driving people to generate results.

Argument 3 (Con):

Need for High Self Discipline / Motivation – Working from home is a real test of strong will and determination. With no managers keeping an eye on you and no team members looking up to you, you can essentially do what you want with your time. It is far too easy to turn on the radio, television or even a games console just to break silence which can greatly reduce the quantity and quality of your work.

Argument 4 (Con):

Limited Delegation Capabilities – If you work in a managerial role, you will appreciate how easy it can sometimes be to quickly complete big projects & large volumes of work by delegating responsibility around the team. When you step out of the team environment your team may need to set their own agenda of work each day. –  it is more effective with face to face.

Argument 5 (Con):

Lack of Face to Face Communication – Some conversations need to take place face-to-face, if one of your team/co-workers is having personal/performance issues it can sometimes be very impractical and impersonal to try and resolve this over the phone. Your knowledge of each individuals workflow may become clouded and delegating from a distance can lead to inconvenient interruptions rather than the quality results you could once achieve. In this respect, some jobs just aren’t suited to remote working.

Argument 6 (Con):

Difficulty in Separating Home from Work – When you’re working in the same place you are living it can be very difficult to separate home life from work life. In this respect, it is important to set up a dedicated area of your house that becomes your ‘working zone’ and use the rest of the house for relaxing, eating, family etc. Without these guidelines in place you can often find that work never stops which can be detrimental to your family life.

Sources 1 -6 (Con):