|The B2C market has also
been greatly affected by e-business. As time has gone by
we have moved on from the egregious initial impact of
Amazon.com to a more pragmatic approach of portals
becoming communities becoming stores.
Just as Tom Koulopoulos's X-economy
predicts, the markets have changed because of the traction
and interaction of interested parties. In the early,
stages of B2C commerce, many sites were dismayed by the
results of their actions. Much money was spent on
Web-based stores and the means to drive traffic to them.
We have all learnt from this process. The market was at a
primitive stage of development, and many made the poor
assumption of "build it and they will come." A time of
flashing banner ads. Web counters and garish colors. My
guess is that most visitors would have been put off just
by the design. However. when the ingredients of poor
functionality, performance, arid security were added,
consumers were kept at bay for a good period of time.
Whether you are starting a new Web store, or are a large
brick-and-mortar wanting to leverage the Web, the way
forward, the benefits. and the means to the end are much
more obvious. With Web-based commerce now clearly
established as a buying channel, it makes no
sense to stay out of it. There are very few products that
researched, compared, or bought on the Web. EBay had an
recently for a mansion in Europe on-line, car shopping is
and as a research vehicle the Web is a great boon to B2C
Many organizations will focus on the Web
purely to extend their
offerings and see it not as a transaction engine but as a
way to create new
and incremental revenue. We continue to develop a more
understanding of where and how to use the Web. Much has
from the mistakes of the early days.
During the evolution of e-business
programs and strategies, many
forewarned of "terrible consequences" for those firms that
from e-business and its huge growth potential. Despite the
and size of the markets, in many cases the e-Business
was "taking away" from the regular commerce activities.
This was a
function of automation and process improvements that new
models wanted and demanded.
Most of the really big and successful companies either
community or new marketplaces for existing products: Altra
selling excess energy products; GoFish.com bringing value
to a volatile marketplace: eBay creating a whole new
buyers and sellers on the Web. Not all of the transitions
successful: Egghead made a bold move to get out of the
and rely, on the Web as a means to sell their products -
one that turned
out to result in their demise. Lots of bets were made.
and some lost. So what does all this mean to businesses
world? How should we apply these tools and principles to