The Internet—A
Growing Retailing

Retailing Trends

What Type of
Store is it?

Company Profile:
Wal-Mart: A Story
of Retailing Success


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The Internet—A Growing Retailing Channel

IDC, in a recent research report that included over 40,000 interviews, predicts the amount of commerce conducted over the Web will reach more than $400 billion with 128 million buyers by 2002. These numbers confirm the growing importance of the Web as a retailing channel.

Special Report on Interactive Retailing
by Chain Store Age Executive Although this report is no longer available free at Chain Store Age, it's worth a trip to the library to obtain it. It offers very extensive coverage of the opportunities to sell products on the Web. Among the topics covered:

Consumer E-Commerce Needs More Customer Focus by the Software & Information Industry Association, December 29, 1999. Summary of a survey of online shoppers. Participants answered questions about product information, order fulfillment, return policies, how they located a retail site (ex. going direct or through a search at a portal or comparison site and other themes.

Who Shops the Internet and Why by Inside Retailing. Summary and analysis of the results of marketing research to learn about Internet shoppers. There are separate disucssions about three Internet groups: heavy shoppers, light shoppers and nonshopper browsers of the Internet. For example, heavy shoppers are knowledgeable about the products they are buying and seek price advantages when shopping the Internet. Also, some of the myths about the Internet are explored, such as the idea that Internet shopping will take away sales from traditional retail stores in the community.

Reaping Online Riches by Shannon Oberndorf, Catalog Age. Some interesting data about who is making the most money in online sales and the product categories that sell the most. Also included: a chart ranking the top fifteen companies according to online sales in 1997. A new retailing approach via the Web: "Priceline is a buying service that lets you name your price. Simply post your request 24 hours a day and guarantee your offer with a major credit card. Priceline then goes about finding a seller who decides whether or not to fill the request."


Retailing Trends

Xtreme Retailing by Janet Ginsburg, BusinessWeek, December 20, 1999. This article covers some of the latest efforts by "bricks and mortar" retailers to compete with online retailers. One of the key strategies: enhance the shopping experience so that it is enjoyable and entertaining in ways that online retailers cannot match. It also describes how the "" retailers are trying to expand their appeal by offering real shopping experiences to complement their online stores (ex.: eBay's efforts to "stage live auctions in selected malls"). A related BusinessWeek article, No Web Site is an Island ( by Catherine Yang, March 22, 1999), provides examples of retailers using both "real world" and online efforts to sell their products.

Retail Insights by Deloitte & Touche. Key international retail trends are discussed, including retailers who expand into service offerings (ex. Wal-Mart offering check-cashing outlets), emphasize private labels, open do-it-yourself stores (ex. Home Depot) and enter e-commerce.


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