Its Halloween as I write this and yesterday I read an interesting yet slightly scary article on Email. It had been written with some references to astronomy, which I find extremely interesting as like many others I have been enjoying watching and listening to Professor Brian Cox on the TV talking about the Universe and in those programs (as in the article on Email) there are some simply enormous numbers.

Let us start with some from the article – “The sun is 93 million miles away from Earth (or 149,600,000 km if you prefer metric). I know how long it takes to walk one mile, but a million miles?”

Like the writer, I have never consciously experienced a million of anything and the Physics of the Universe website I visited shortly afterwards only goes to make these numbers seem insignificant. It writes “the observable part of the Universe alone contains over ten billion trillion stars arranged in about 100 billion galaxies, and is estimated to be around 156 billion light-years in diameter”. Wow….I mean, ten billion trillion stars! Can I even write that number down?

Coming back down to Earth, in 2013, humanity sent about 150 billion emails each day. Today another source suggests this figure is closer to 183 billion – That’s a 22% increase and the trend is set to continue. Numbers like these are difficult to truly grasp unless we can visualise it, so let me share with you the example from the article.

“In 2013, 21 emails were received per earthling, per day, or 79 each if you only count actual email users. To put this into something we can get our heads around, the article goes on to say that if we printed out just one day of the world’s emails, the stack of paper would be 10,000 miles high and a month’s worth of email would reach the moon” – that’s a lot of trees and ink toner!

Nevertheless, the numbers do not stop here. Many people like to file emails for future reference so just imagine the storage requirements needed to manage this anarchy.

If you consider the average email is 75 kilobytes (except spam, which is about 5 kilobytes and accounts for 69.6% of all email traffic), this means a day of email traffic equates to around 4 petabytes – Have you ever wondered how big a petabyte is?

Well, it is quite a lot actually!

After a point, big numbers become so vast that it is impossible to have any real intuitive understanding of what they mean.

Understandably then retailers we initially speak with have little idea of the hours they waste due to the prolific use of email to stores on a daily basis – and as the evidence above suggests this is only going to get worse.

Imagine what you could do if you were to invest these lost hours into customer focussed activities such as more staff, better training, improved availability, better standards and compliance – all would help your business provide class-leading service.

Email will continue to be the answer for retailers that don’t realise the effect it can have on store teams and if you want the easy answer then roll out email, however, if you want the right answer then think about using specialist collaborative solutions such as Metro Unified Comms from RMS.

RMS have a portfolio of products developed specifically to help retailers and branch-based businesses get things done in the most effective manner, from software to manage store communications and enhance operational capabilities to software to manage people. We also provide software to support key business processes, plan and execute complex projects and manage Point of Sale creation and printing.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help,


Share This