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Welcome to the first issue of Internet Retailer, the only magazine devoted to covering strategies for selling to consumers over the Internet. Our mission is straightforward: Provide timely, credible, in-depth information on Web selling to retailers of all kinds. The Internet is changing the competitive dynamics of retailing and we will chronicle those changes and how they affect the strategies and operations of traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers, catalog retailers, the new class of virtual retailers and the brand-name manufacturers who are using the Internet to become retailers themselves.
By now, just about everyone who sells goods or buys goods knows about shopping on the Internet. But not many retailers understand how to achieve corporate goals on the Internet without going broke. Our aim is to tell you what’s working and what’s not working in every area of retailing-in marketing and advertising, in merchandising, in inventory, in order processing and fulfillment, in payments and in policies such as security and returns.
And we are focusing not on just the big retailers; if there’s one lesson that has become abundantly clear in Internet retailing, it is that size is not a factor in measuring Web success. While the biggest virtual retailers-Amazon.com, CDNow and others-have gotten all the press attention, retailers that would be considered small by any measure are finding abundant success on the Internet.
This first issue is a good example of the kinds of stories we will be covering. The cover story reveals the strategies of retail chains going on the Internet; how they must change the way they do business and think about their customers if they are to succeed. A major feature outlines how brand-name manufacturers’ Web efforts threaten traditional retailers. And we report on why stock prices of virtual merchants remain at crazy levels despite a dearth of profits, how the Internet is changing the way campus bookstores operate and how Eddie Bauer is leveraging its well known name on the Web. Every issue will feature a profile of someone making Web waves, a critique of a retailing Web site, views on Internet retailing by a practitioner, and a report on numerous Web sites visited by our writers and researchers, with details about response times.
Since 1982, we have been covering networking of electronic data and retailing. One thing we’ve learned over the years is that the world of electronic data networking changes rapidly. And the same is true-but even more intensely-on the Web. We welcome your thoughts on Web retailing. Please contact us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.
Kurt T. Peters
Editor in chief