E-Tail Not What Some Cracked It Up to Be
Times piece about e-commerce in the U.K. points out that, back in the
dot-com boom, there were evangelists predicting that online purchases would
represent 25 percent of all retail sales by now. Similar predictions were
made on this side of the pond. In reality, e-tail has yet to reach 10 percent
of total retail in either the U.K. or the U.S. and the rate of growth slowed
as the recession took hold.
from the dot-com daze was that many pure play e-tailers would emerge as major
forces displacing some large brick and mortar operations. In reality, Amazon.com
and a few others have hit it big as online only merchants while the major conventional
chains have become forces in e-commerce.
lead analyst at the retail consultancy Verdict, told the Financial Times, “The
trust that you have in brands still needs that physical engagement to begin
with and so [online retail] is more of a complementary channel than a supplementary
Questions: How much of the overall retail business will online eventually
become? Are there opportunities for more pure-play Amazon.com-like success
stories to emerge? What will it take to make that happen?