Is the long tail wagging the dog?

Retailers are ruthless organisations. They set demanding revenue and profit targets for the goods they are prepared to display on their shelves; as a consequence big brands dominate their offering. Small firms, with limited ranges find it difficult to break the stranglehold of the major manufacturers. However, many industrial commentators expect the Web to revolutionise our culture and wildly expand our choices. Online stores are able to take a distinctly different approach to the products they offer, with digital technology ...

Has the news of the death of the high street been greatly exaggerated?

Over the last couple of months three major UK retailers have gone into administration; Comet an electrical retailer with 240 stores nationwide and 6,895 employees, Jessops a camera supplier with 187 stores and 1370 employees and this week HMV an entertainment retailer with 285 stores and 4350 employees. The three chains have a long history and much in common, in that they were badly managed and their businesses were undermined by the increase in online sales. HMV opened its first ...

Price is what you pay – value is what you get

  Parents shopping for the Christmas must-have toys, such as the Furby toy, may be paying more online than in their local retail stores. The price of a product, for example, on Amazon’s UK website can change more than five times a day as aggressive ‘third-party’ sellers capitalise on this year’s most popular Christmas toys. As the supply of a product falls, such as for in-demand Christmas toys, prices tend to increase. Third-party sellers on Amazon change their prices depending on the ...

S-commerce: liking and sharing

  Business commentators like to develop short hand labels to describe a range of commercial activities and customer behaviours. The growth of social media has provided many opportunities to extend the use of these labels further. Social commerce or s-commerce is the use of social networks and social media tools to support and encourage e-commerce transactions by enabling consumers to obtain advice from trusted individuals, find goods and services and then purchase them. The social networks that spread this advice have the ...

Valuing dot-coms: the new social media bubble

The development of e-commerce has seen some huge peaks and troughs. In its infancy, e-commerce experienced a significant speculative boom lasting from 1995 to 2000, when global stock markets saw their values rocket on the founding of thousands of Internet-based businesses referred to as ‘dot-coms’. On March 10, 2000, the technology dominated NASDAQ Composite index, peaked at 5,048.62, more than double its value just a year before previously. Investors began to doubt the credibility of many of the business models. ...

E-commerce and virtual currency

An IMRWorld report estimated that in 2010, global e-commerce sales grew to €591bn, an annual increase of close to 25%. IMRWorld estimates that growth will continue in the coming years, passing the trillion-euro mark in 2013, with sales doubling since 2009. The world leader in e-commerce is the USA, followed by the UK and Japan, but the report predicts that the biggest growth region in the next decade will be the Asia-Pacific region in China, Japan, India and Australia, with ...