Retailers are keen to embrace new electronic commerce opportunities being thrown up by the Internet, but not at the expense of their existing store operations.
This is the finding of a new report by consultancy Cap Gemini, which interviewed over 100 European retailers on their ecommerce strategies.
Most retailers working outside traditional mail order expect 13 per cent of their sales to be via home shopping within two years, (rising to 26 per cent in 10 years) but almost 60 per cent said the electronic channels would not affect the way they currently do business. According to Cap Gemini, most retailers are thinking short term and tactically, and are planning to run their outlets and electronic channels side by side.
Their approach is markedly different to that of the business and industrial world, which views ecommerce as a totally new business opportunity. A recent report by Diebold and Bertelsmann Telemedia, which interviewed over 200 blue chip companies, showed that these companies see online trading as a way of identifying new markets with low entry points.
According to this study, industry is excited by the chance to enhance products, improve customer service and offer tailored prices to individual customers. The research found that most blue chip companies believe the switch to electronic business will have a major impact on their core IT systems and will force them to rethink current business processes.
?Though the more advanced retailers interviewed for the study are looking to enhance products and services via electronic channels, none of the respondents currently see price discrimination as an opportunity. Retailers are selling on convenience, not price,? said Nick Gill, international retail director at Cap Gemini.
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