Even though many pure-play e-retailers have gone out of business since the e-retailing revolution began, some e-retailing ventures have had a profound and lasting effect on retailing, says Ira Kalish, director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Retail Intelligence System. For instance, low-cost online food retailer AdMart sparked a price war in Hong Kong that is still raging and affecting the bottom line of big offline retailers, even though AdMart no longer exists. “It wreaked havoc on the retailing industry and even though it failed itself, it has had an enduring impact,” Kalish said.
Speaking during a PWC audio forum on World Wide Web: E-Commerce Across the Globe, Kalish said the retailing world is being transformed by the Internet. For instance, the web will give much power to manufacturers of consumer goods. “This is a venue that will allow suppliers to fight back against the increasing power of retailers, further stimulating the traditional conflict between suppliers and retailers,” he said.
Besides offering a way for manufacturers to sell direct to consumers, the future of e-retailing will hold more globalization of retail brands, greater price harmony among retailers and products because the web makes comparison shopping easier, and a way for mom-and-pop stores to aggregate their marketing efforts to combat big, global retailers.