|E-Commerce Software Portends Hard Times for Producers|
|Subject||Consumer prices, Internet|
|Key Words||Internet, prices, costs, consumer, referral fee, rebate, incentive.|
The Internet makes it easy for consumers to shop around for the best prices, product availability, shipping costs and shipping time. Now there is software that enables a consumer to compare prices and other features without changing web sites. The software produced by ClickTheButton allows the consumer to click on an icon and view competitors' prices. Merchants do not have to pay to be part of the site.
Dash's software directs consumers to partner retailers who advertise rebates. The retailers pay a referral fee to Dash, which then sends the rebate to the consumer. Companies therefore have an incentive to join the retail partners: if they do not, they could lose business.
Businesses are surprisingly unfazed by these developments. Some welcome the competition, while others feel resigned to it.
(Updated January 1, 2000)
|Source||Bob Tedeschi, "E-Commerce Report," The New York Times, November 22, 1999.|
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