Monday, August 19, 2013

How Has Your Line Moved?

I had the recent misfortune of purchasing a complete counterfeit version of a pretty well known product.  And it wasn't a pair of Gucci sunglasses or a Rolex offered by an individual on a busy street corner.  It occurred via an independent storefront within the ecosystem, and it surprised the daylights out of me.

Upon further reflection, I determined that my expectations of Amazon have changed significantly over the last 15 or so years in that by clicking "buy" on their site, I subconsciously have very close to 100% confidence that what I ordered will be fulfilled honestly, correctly and expeditiously.  However, due to the fact that Amazon elects to lease their massive amount of internet real estate to just about any entity that puts up a shingle, the risk of a storefront conducting unscrupulous business practices is an ever-present risk.

To extrapolate on that line of thinking, I would imagine that other online destinations like Ebay or Overstock encounter a similar percentage of fraudulent occurrences during their normal courses of business.  And on the other side of the coin, no one would ever expect anything but an authentic Iphone when they walk into an Apple store to purchase one.

So what has happened?  Like anything else that we encounter, our expectations are continually shaped over time and experiences.  It must have been pretty scary for the first customer of Amazon to click buy as there was no frame of reference attached to the process.  We all have a vault within us that we constantly update and tweak to determine our individual predictions of any forthcoming economic transaction.  Sometimes the information within that vault is changed drastically and surprisingly, but it is all just a part of our ongoing self-learning growth.

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