The Pew Research Internet Project recently published a report by the Pew Research Center which asked 1,4000 e-commerce experts if they fear that there will be significant changes to the way people get and share content online between now and 2025.
35% of those who were surveyed said “yes,” and 65% said “no.” The Pew notes, however, that those who said “no” added that their answers were based more on hopes rather than predictions.
“While the majority of the survey respondents remain optimistic about the Internet’s long-term future, they also have concerns about the turf wars emerging as these technologies mature,” says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project and a co-author of the report. “Many e-commerce experts worry that, if ignored, these problems could change the fundamental nature of this crucial information system.”
E-Commerce Experts Worried About Government Intervention
E-commerce executives contacted by Internet Retailer seem most concerned by the first and the fourth threats: that government intervention will hold back web commerce, or put restrictions on marketing in an effort to protect consumer privacy and minimize spam.
“There is a high likelihood governments are going to intervene because the Internet represents a bigger slice of their tax base,” says Chicago-based e-commerce consultant Jim Okamura. “What protects us is that governments are revenue-motivated. They know they should not kill the golden goose.”
A similar comment came from Ludovino Lopes, president of the Brazilian e-commerce association, the Câmara Brasileira de Comércio Eletrŏnico. “The Internet is part of the essence of the economic models of our time,” Lopes says. “The digital economy is here to stay!”
The question, he says, is to what extent governments will intervene. “[…It] is part of our responsibility as associations, to call and join efforts for action.”