E-Commerce Times Talkback
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A long, long time ago, before Amazon.com modified its "Earth's Biggest Bookstore" slogan
to encompass all the other merchandise on its virtual shelves, e-commerce took its first
baby steps by selling books to the world's hungry readers. Now, almost exactly seven years
later, the latest and hottest news about e-commerce is all about -- books. Has e-commerce
returned to its roots? Or are we still waiting in vain for those roots to sprout into a
I think the article misses the point as to what is going on in the Internet arena. We should focus on the point of competition rather than what is being sold.
Internet companies such as Amazon and Buy.com are competing on price and not differentiation. As a result profit margins in the industry as a whole will fall. Will buy.com gain one over Amazon? The answer is that by competing on price both will lose out and may pay the ultimate price.
By being bigger and more diversified Amazon might outlive buy.com in the long run. But Internet companies must learn to compete on things other than price if any of them are to survive at all.