|Anonymous Consumers Increasingly Faceless Too|
|Subject||Assumptions and comparative statics|
|Key Words||Retailing, markets, sales, web sites, Internet, vendors, cost, products, staff, buildings|
Online retailing is growing fast in markets such as airline tickets, toys, food and computers. Sales grew by 127% in the year ending in the first quarter of 1999. Two thousand secure web sites capable of electronic transactions are added to the Internet each month. However, online sales are still small, compared to overall retail sales of $2.7 trillion in 1998.
The benefits of online retailing include wider markets and longer hours. Vendors can often take a few days to customize products to suit consumer needs or refill out-of-stock lines. The cost of an electronic operation is lower because fewer staff and no buildings are needed. Online shopping is also more convenient.
One observer noted that it is fast companies beating slow ones, not necessarily large companies beating small ones. One example is a Brooklyn clothing store, Stacia New York, which can now sell all around the country.
(Updated January 1, 2000)
|Source||Sara Nathan, "Online retail sales soar, jobs rocket," USA Today, October 27, 1999.|
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