At a basic level, any commercial transaction that involves a direct sale to a
consumer at any point of time may be termed as retailing. It can be the selling
of apparel, books, music, footwear, grocery items or other things. Such a retail
trade could take place in a shopping mall, a mom-and-pop store, a department
store, or in a friendly neighborhood grocery shop. Most of such retail trades
that can be done through the brick-and-mortar retailing route can be
successfully replicated over the Internet as well. In the traditional sense, the
term Retailing referred to the final transaction between a business and a
Other business models include:
(B2B) – These remain the largest source of commercial transactions (about 80% of
(C2B) – This is an emerging sector. A good example of the consumer-to-business
model is “Priceline”
(C2C) - This model relies on various online communities. A prominent and hugely
successful example of the consumer-to-consumer model is “eBay”.
The C2B and C2C sectors are recent phenomena that have emerged taking full
advantage of the various electronic media to evolve into potentially major
sectors within the retail industry. Earlier, the two sectors played a minimal
role in the retail industry but they are gaining momentum with a concurrent rise
in the electronic commerce around the world.
We should also consider the broader impact of the web and other multiple
channels on retailing. While it may not be the facilitator for the final
transaction between the customer and the business (or other customer in the case
of C2C), it may still play a vital role. For example, when a consumer purchases
a car, he may not make the purchase online, but may use the web to do a
significant part of the pre-purchase research (80% of car buyers do it).
Therefore, the overall impact of Internet on the retailing process extends
beyond the online transactions and goes up to educating the consumer to make the
right choice through the entire purchasing process.
E-tailing currently accounts for 12% of the retail purchases in the U.S. Amazon
is clearly the leading e-tailer in terms of its reach, projected buyers and the
unique users around the world.
What is e-tailing?
e-tailing or e-retailing refers to the selling of retail goods electronically over
the Internet. The term is a short form for "electronic retailing", and surfaced
in the 1990s for being frequently used over the Internet. The term is an
inevitable addition to other similar terms such as e-business, e-mail, and
e-commerce. E-tailing usually refers to the business-to-consumer (B2C)
E-tailing is gaining ground. In the year 2009, clothing and apparel segment
clocked online revenues to the tune of $ 19.5 billion. Online retailing is
classified into three main categories:
1. Click – The businesses that operate only through the online channel fall into
this category. Prominent examples in this category include: Dell, Amazon.com and
2. Click and Brick – The businesses that use both the online as well as the
offline channel fall into this category. Common example includes: Barnes and
3. Brick and Mortar – This is the conventional mode of retailing. The businesses
that do not use the latest retailing channels and still rely upon the
conventional mode belong to this category.
e-tailing offers the consumers huge amounts of information in the form of web
sites with useful links to similar sites that allows consumers to compare
products by looking at individual items. The convenience of online shopping is
unmatched indeed. Shopping out of your home or office reduces the stresses of
waiting in lines and dealing with irritating sales people. However, E-tailing
causes problems with fit, since the consumer cannot try the items on. Return
policies may also act as turn offs and items can be difficult to return. The
shipping and handling costs may turn the customers away. e-tailing requires
technology savvy customers and this puts a limit on its potential reach. We can
see that E-tailing is emerging as an interesting phenomenon in the retail
industry that is on a rise despite the disadvantages associated with it.
e-tailing began to be used by major corporations and smaller entrepreneurs as
early as 1997 when Dell Computers managed multimillion-dollar orders through its
online Web site. The success of online retailing businesses such as Amazon.com
hastened the arrival of Barnes and Noble's e-tail site. With improvements in
technology, the concerns about secure order taking slowly started receding. In
the same year, Auto-by-Tel announced selling over one million cars over the
Internet and CommerceNet/Nielsen Media announced that total number of online
buyers had reached the ten million mark. Jupiter research predicted that
e-tailing would grow to $318 billion by the year 2010.
e-tailing has resulted in the development of e-tailware
– a term used to refer to the software tools that are used for creating online
catalogs and managing the business undertaking e-tailing. A new trend was
noticed in the form of the various price comparison sites that allowed the users
to compare prices from a number of different e-tailers and link them to their
portals for the subsequent online purchase.
The distribution of products across multiple sales channels - often referred to
as multi-channel retailing - has become the norm today. According to a recent
survey, multi-channel retailers in the US increased their online market share
from 53 % in the year 1999 to 76 % in the year 2003 - in contrast to
Internet-only retailers, who lost a corresponding market share. For the same
reason, some pure Internet retailers are gradually making a transition to
multi-channel retailing. The consumer preference for multi-channel retailing
calls for a study of the underlying reasons behind the user-acceptance and
subsequent popularity of the particular business model.
Advantages of e tailing/ Multi-Channel retailing
E-tailing offers unique advantages to the consumer that no other form of
retailing can match. The hypertext nature of the medium allows for more flexible
forms of transactions (growth of C2B and C2C) to flourish. It allows for easier
comparisons across broad product categories with the evolution of shopping bots
and similar mechanisms. The medium also offers flexible/dynamic pricing
mechanisms to the consumer. These evolutions reduce any friction in the online
market place and stimulate the use of the web as a retail environment. In the
long-run, this will benefit the marketers as well as the consumers. Further,
this will penalize the marketers who thrived in market places that had entry
barriers in the form of a lack of freely available information. Earlier, such a
situation restricted the customers in making informed choices and led to
inefficient pricing and localized monopolies. Reasons for e-tailing coming up as
a hot avenue in the retail sector can be attributed to multiple factors such as:
Minimal investment -
e-tailing does not require a retailer to invest in warehouses, showrooms or
other commercial properties at prime locations. They operate through their web
sites and thus save drastically on the real estate costs. The real estate costs
in the metropolitan cities can be prohibitively high. Moreover, maintenance
costs of a virtual store are negligible in comparison to a physical store.
Comfortable and easy
to use - The Internet offers easy and comfortable access to all the required
information by a customer. Over the Internet, product information is just a few
clicks away, easily accessible from the comfort of a home. Traditional retailing
is quite cumbersome in contrast to e-tailing. It involves frantic search for the
required product, running up and down the retail store, asking the poorly
trained store assistants for help. The process involves significant wastage of
valuable time. Simply put, shopping on the Internet for fifteen minutes is
equivalent to a two-hour trip to the mall. Consumers prefer to save their
precious time so that they can better utilize it.
- The greatest benefit of online commerce is its ability to interact with the
customers. Such an interaction allows the retailers to reach the individual
customers and react appropriately to their responses. Interaction acts as a
vital tool for mass customization. The common examples include online marketing
of books, flowers, software and education. This has also led to greater
satisfaction among the online buyers. According to a research agency, 81% of the
buyers were found to be highly satisfied with their online purchases.
Mass Media - A
supermarket is limited in its area of operation. It caters to a specific
geographical location such as a city and/or its suburbs. However, a web site is
globally accessible leading to a worldwide reach and an increased potential
Search option - With
web search capabilities (which need further development) it is easier to find
the particular types of goods required by a customer. The consumer decides what
he wants to buy rather than the retailer offering what he wants to sell. This
ultimately translates into consumer empowerment.
User friendly -
Customers can execute transactions via the same medium the information is
provided, so there is no disconnect between the desire to purchase and the
ability to purchase. (Payment schemes are still evolving and therefore this
advantage is likely to become more apparent in the future.)
discrimination - E-tailers can use price discrimination in an effective and
efficient manner. E-tailers can use previous transactions to identify the
likelihood of products being purchased at certain price points and use this
information for price discrimination.
placement - E-tailers can change the online placement/display of a product based
on the previous transactions so to increase the visibility of goods that the
user is more likely to buy based on the previous encounter at the time purchase.
This allows a contextual design of placement to ensure conversion of a visit/hit
to the web site into a sale.
Global reach -
Customers have a much wider choice at their fingertips (a variety of e-tail
sites to choose from etc.) In this way, the web creates a global market place
that brings together multiple consumers and retailers.
Disadvantages of e tailing/ Multi-Channel retailing
Most of the e-tailing ventures have not been as profitable as they were expected
to be, the primary reasons were:
Security issues -
Security issues hold the center stage when it comes to consumer concerns while
shopping through the online media. A lack of trust and privacy concerns prevents
a lot of consumers from making online purchases. Consumers are also concerned
with the use of their personal data provided during the online transactions.
Customer retention -
In e-tailing, an increase in the customer retention by 5% leads to a
corresponding increase in profits by 25%. Most of the people buying on the
Internet may not be as loyal as those who buy from brick and mortar.
certain product categories – In case of product categories that require
relatively higher customer involvement, the e-tailing route is found to be
grossly inadequate in providing sufficient information to the customers.
Examples include retailing of products like clothes, cosmetics etc.
customers are comfortable buying books and music on the Internet because the
information required for making a purchase and the customer involvement is low.
However, in case of a blue Trouser, the customer may want to know things such
as: Which shade of blue is it? How does it feel on the skin? How easily does it
The traditional retailing does not suffer from such a problem. In the
non-standard product categories, the Internet offers limited amounts of crucial
information to the customer. In such cases, only the seller knows about the true
quality of the trouser and this leads to an ‘information asymmetry’.
Shopping is still a
touch-feel-hear experience - some do not suffer from 'time-poverty' and shopping
is still considered to be a family outing. Hence this type of an environment
creates a problem of customer retention.
Complicated medium -
Ease of use is a problem, as the web design may suffer from high complexity
bordering on total chaos in some cases.
Navigation hiccups -
E-tail stores do not have standardized designs in comparison to the physical
retail stores and product catalogs. Therefore different user behaviors
(navigation schemes) need to be learned for each e-tail store. This is a
temporary issue as the evolution of the web continues.
Website design flaws
- Graphic presentation and aesthetics may not be as compelling for a web site as
in case of a physical retail store or a product catalog. This is a temporary
issue that may resolve with the evolution of the web design.
Limited access to the
Internet - Not all customers have access to the web, as they do to the postal
system. This is a temporary issue as the evolution of the web continues.
Barriers to growth in e-tailing
1. Issues related to Customer Service, Distribution and Logistics - E-tailing
tends to facilitate the business transactions, but unless the transaction
involves a digital product such as software or music etc., due emphasis should
be given on prompt and smooth delivery of the products. Majority of e-tailers
focus on significant marketing efforts to attract customers in order to execute
transactions, but tend to ignore the important aspect of customer satisfaction
through a flawless delivery. It is important to follow through and ensure a
smooth delivery to the customer. The companies can also use the web to enhance
the customer experience by allowing the customers to track the status of the
transaction. So it is not simply a case of allowing for delivery, but enhancing
the delivery experience with the web.
Once this relationship is formed (via the transaction), the e-tailer can follow
up with a solicited marketing program to keep the customers engaged. Customer
service should be considered a high priority as it impacts the long-term
relationship between the customer and the e-tailer. Customer service should be
proactive to ensure prompt delivery leading to satisfaction with the product and
subsequently offer a medium of dialog to the customer with the e-tailer.
Recently, more attention has been paid to the delivery aspect of the entire
2. Issues related to the mode of payment – In the online medium, credit card
transactions are fast becoming the preferred mode of payment. Credit card
providers take a percentage of the transaction, and this may be higher for the
web, than for a traditional retail store. The high transaction cost is perceived
as a risk premium because the e-tailer cannot capture the signature of the
purchaser to remove any possibility of credit card misuse in the online
Other payment media include:
a. Smart Cards: Smart Cards are a more accepted form of payment across Europe,
but due to the high penetration of credit cards in the US, Smart Cards have had
a limited global impact .Much discussion has taken place with regards to the
development of "smart cards" to facilitate online transactions. Smart cards
allow for smaller transactions and provide anonymity (ensuring privacy) to the
consumer while making the purchase. American Express is developing a smart card
that would include a chip to allow the storage of digital data (transaction
history and monetary values). The use of Smart Cards also requires a "reader" be
placed on a consumer's machine for accessing the web (whether a PC or a mobile
device). This additional need of infrastructure acts as a barrier in its mass
adoption by all the parties involved in the transaction be it the consumer, the
e-tailers or the payment providers.
b. PayPal: PayPal is a tool that facilitates person 2 person (P2P) transactions
in an online environment such as the eBay (eBay now owns PayPal). This payment
option allows the web sites and individuals who do not accept credit cards to
process online transactions in an effective and efficient manner. Both the
transacting parties are required to have their own PayPal accounts. However,
compared to a credit card, PayPal is a much secure online payment service since
credit cards numbers are not transmitted over the internet.
c. VeriSign: VeriSign provides secure online payment options to facilitate
online commerce. It purchased Cybercash that offered multiple payment solutions
to its customers.
For the online retail markets to grow to their full potential, a standard and
secure medium of exchange needs to evolve so as to reduce friction in the
virtual global market place. With respect to the web, we need to develop a
medium that becomes a standard to increase the participation rates of e-tailers
and consumers. Since credit cards have taken a lead, they may become the
standard. They do not facilitate micro transactions, which clearly would open up
new markets that will be exclusive to the web. This is an area where we not only
need to develop a medium to facilitate exchange, but also determine the likely
goods (web content, music etc.) that will become viable for an online exchange.
3. Personalization vs. Privacy Issues – In an online environment, there is a
conflict between the need for privacy on the part of the consumer, and the need
to be able to personalize the offering on the part of the e-tailer (aimed at
providing a better experience to the consumer). Finding equilibrium between the
two is tricky. E-tailing solutions that can simultaneously address both the
issues can make a significant impact on the growth of this segment. This also
ties in with new payment systems that are developed, as the payment
(transaction) involves an exchange of the critical data. Issues relating to the
ownership of that data (after the transaction) and the rules governing the use
of that data are important.
Many upcoming companies are offering intermediary services focusing on
certification of e-tailers and their use of the personal data collected from the
customer during an online transaction.
Most current personalization solutions focus on personalization based on the
user experience with the individual web-site. Systems need to be developed that
allows for personalization across multiple web-sites or the entire web and the
connection between the e-tailer and its physical presence in case the customer
Other risks associated with e-tailing include the security of the transaction
and the integrity of the business with which the customer transacts. The
customer is justified in being concerned with the security of the transaction
data provided in an online transaction. Since the e-tailing environment does not
provide the same assurance as the physical world in terms of the integrity of
the business, e-tailers with an unknown brand name need to make extra efforts to
make sure the customer has confidence in the outcome of the transaction and
Multi-Channel Retailing - Challenges and Responses
Inventory and order management
systems are not integrated across all channels
integrated, multi-channel data management strategies
Customer data is not integrated or
shared across all channels
Bringing in outside
expertise to drive internal business process change
The dominant channel fears sales
Creating an ROI-based
case to gain more resources to integrate business processes
There are budgetary constraints to
create integrated processes
organizational structure to be brand – rather than channel - specific
Channel specific, instead of
brand-specific, merchandising organization
incentives to be brand – rather than channel – specific
Cannot change fast enough to keep
up with customer expectations
to improve system integration
(Source: Aberdeen Group)
4. Issues related to the portal design – Portal design plays a critical role in
e-tailing. The overall design of the portal has been an issue as web designers
often fall short of understanding this medium and its capabilities. Amazon has
understood the importance of design, throughout the transaction, and went so far
as patenting its "one-click" transaction rule. It is critical to focus on the
transaction process flow.
Presently, the customer is unable to view the entire transaction process without
experiencing it first hand. It is observed that if the flow of the transaction
creates a possible disconnect between the customer's needs to complete the
transaction, the customer will abort. (approximately 20 - 30% of transactions
are aborted by the customers) A common problem with transaction flow design is
the surprise shipping costs that e-tailers often do not calculate until the
transaction is about to be finalized. Shopping cart technology is used to
facilitate the online transaction process.
Design also plays an important role in selling goods that require experience.
Since the web cannot facilitate experience for non-digital goods, other means
need to be developed to encourage such transactions. For example, liberal return
policies and risk-free return facilities encourage online shoppers to go for
5. Issues related to the Ease of Access – A majority of consumers still find the
medium of internet difficult to access and use. The adoption of broadband has
been slowed down due to the last-mile connectivity issues. This has put a
limitation on the ability to design the right e-tailing environment to encourage
online transactions. Once online access extends beyond the PC, and mobile
commerce (m-commerce) gains popularity, e-tailing access may see an exponential
growth coupled with capabilities for contextual transactions developing an
entirely new role for the e-tailing domain.
6. Legal Issues in a Global business environment - E-tailing extends beyond the
national boundaries and connects a global audience. Rules for commerce, and its
legal framework, have evolved within the geographically limited national and
state borders. To facilitate the growth of e-tailing, a legal framework needs to
evolve that makes sense for a global marketplace. This is perhaps the most
challenging aspect to overcome in order to help the growth. Currently there is a
moratorium on taxes (sales taxes) for e-tail transactions with businesses that
have no physical presence. This puts the traditional retailers at a disadvantage
and leads to the loss of a major source of revenue for the states and countries
where such transactions take place.
Other issues, besides the taxes, that need to be addressed include the legal
positions with respect to the use of data and the rules for conducting business
in an online environment. While there are imbalances between these rules, around
the world, it will limit the potential for a truly global market place that the
web, as a medium, potentially develops. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is
working on developing standards in these areas. Legal standards, across states
and countries, are as important as business and technology standards in terms of
allowing the online markets to thrive.
PACE (Pressures, Actions, Capabilities, Enablers)
Customer expectation of
seamless purchase and delivery options across channels, continued
pressures to improve operational performance
excellence across all channels
Ensure product information
and pricing is up to date and consistent across channels
management and product information management
consumer research and shopping patterns
Allow customer to
purchase, take delivery, or return a product through the channel of
Synchronize customer and
inventory information across channels
Real-time inventory and
Leveraging brand equity to
acquire and retain today’s less loyal customer
Create single brand
identity across all channels
Enable real-time views of
Single operational data
stores and data warehouses across all channels
multi-channel selling environment
Create customized service
offerings to focus on micro-market segments
Cross selling and
Advanced web and in-store
analytics available in real-time
Price is no longer a valid
means of differentiation
Offer customized and
unique product offerings
metrics across channels
systems, returns management systems
(Source: Aberdeen Group)
Understanding Consumer Behavior in E-tailing and
The consumer behavior towards the e-tailing and Multi-Channel Retailing is
influenced by a variety of factors. Consumers often quote the channel, the
organization, the product, and the consumer characteristics - to explain their
preferences for using certain channels. The mixture of multiple factors that
influence their patterns of channel use is complex and dynamic. The consumers
actively consider the channels that will suit them the best, and how they can
achieve a maximum outcome for a minimum of costs. In doing this, they often do
not use the channels in the way its providers had originally intended.
The various factors that determine the consumer behavior in an online retail
environment comprising of e-tailing and Multiple-Channel Retailing are discussed
A - A consumer’s trust in an Internet shop varies in proportion to the perceived
size of its physical store network. An online consumer is more likely to trust a
large sized business in comparison to a small sized business owing to the trust.
B - A consumer’s trust in an Internet shop varies in proportion to the perceived
reputation of its physical store network. Reputation is defined as the extent to
which buyers believe a company is honest and concerned about its customers.
Consumers may have more trust in a retailer with high reputation because a
trustworthy retailer is less likely to jeopardize his reputation assets.
C - A consumer’s trust in an e-shop of a multi-channel retailer varies in
proportional to the perceived privacy at the e-shop. Concerns of online privacy
have increased considerably and are a major impediment to e-commerce. Consumer
privacy assumes significant importance on the Internet. The consumers are
concerned about how their personal data is collected and used by a marketer
D - The quantum of risk perceived by a consumer at an e-shop of a multi-channel
retailer reduces the consumers’ trust levels. Trust is closely related to risk
in the consumers’ mind.
E - While buying from an e-shop of a multi-channel retailer, the perceived risk
is inversely proportional to the consumer’s purchase intentions of shopping at
the particular e-shop. The theory of planned behavior suggests that a consumer
is more willing to buy from an Internet store that is perceived as low risk.
While the loose ends of the retail sector are being tied up, e-tailing has
emerged as a promising avenue and caught the attention of many entrepreneurs.
This could very well be the beginning of an e-tail revolution. As the new
phenomenon emerges, it should be understood that retailing is a serious
With an increasing popularity and acceptance of Internet around the
world, e-tailing is assuming increasingly greater significance. A number of
products and services are on e-tail offer and novel plans are being worked out
by many e-tailers. So, the dilemma continues: to retail or to e-tail?
However, if we dig deeper, the comparison and contrast between retailing and
e-tailing, and the differences in the way business is conducted in both the
segments should become clearer.
While the conventional retail is location-specific and the retailer is
restricted to a particular location, an e-tailer operates on a global scale.
Being local in nature, a brick-and-mortar retailer has to identify a good
location for his operations and wait for the customers. On the other hand, an e-tailer
has to virtually attract a customer to his site and offer him exemplary
services. In fact, location is no longer the key to success if e-tailing is what
we are talking about. Thus, while the target customer remains the same in both
the categories, the mode of conducting business is changing dramatically.
There is another distinct challenge thrown in by e-tailing. An e-tailer has to
invest significant resources in retaining a customer who has shopped through his
site. In the conventional retailing, almost half of the initial investment could
go towards acquiring the real estate. Afterwards, a retailer has to spend
considerable money, effort and time in setting up his shop, stocking inventory
and creating display patterns. However, customer retention is not such an issue
in conventional retail as compared to the e-tailing mode.
Customer retention: The holy grail of e-tailing
Customer retention poses a significant challenge to the e-tailers. The primary
aim of every e-tailer is to attract a prospective customer to his e-tail site.
This requires significant resources in terms of the ad spend. Naturally, there
has been a surge in online advertising in countries such as the United States.
Online ad spends have grown so large that as much as two-thirds of the capital
raised by online companies go towards advertising. Ad spends by online companies
have grown do large that all the savings achieved in the areas of real estate
and inventory are more than offset by a manifold increase in the marketing and
promotional ad spend.
After considerably large ad-spend, will the customer remain loyal to the
The question still remains answered. We can see that retaining an e-tail
customer is an expensive proposition. The underlying reason is that in the
online world, customer loyalty does not exist.
In the US, it has been observed that the traditional retailers, despite the
strength of their brand equity and their existing relationships with suppliers
and customers, find it extremely hard to compete online. This phenomenon is
attributed to the vast difference between the conventional retailing and the
The online media offers a host of advantages that may tilt the economics in its
favor. The online medium could transform much of the traditional economics of
conventional retailing. While a physical store caters only to a particular
locality, the Internet reaches out to the world. The obvious fallout is that the
e-tailer can go for a bigger and wider audience and still be in touch with
The e-tailing route calls for a re-examination of the conventional retail value
chain. The electronic media such as the Internet and the mobile phones make it
possible to do away with a significant portion of the traditional value chain
altogether, replacing it with direct sales by manufacturers to the consumers.
There is another side to the story. According to retail analysts, online
retailing also creates new points in the conventional value chain.
The economics of the Internet also offers a powerful first mover advantage to
the retailer. An e-commerce operation on the web can be scaled up at a low cost
in such a way that is almost impossible for its physical equivalent. And even
among the different e-tailers there is the first mover advantage. If the first
mover gets everything right - its website, its order fulfillment and
distribution - a newcomer might find it much harder to beat an established
player at the game. For example, Amazon.com got the first mover advantage in the
online book retailing segment.
What will work?
The million dollar question is: what kind of retailing model will deliver in the
To arrive at an answer, consider the following. The most important cost
advantage of e-tailing comes from minimal costs on the physical infrastructure
and the elimination of intermediaries leading to an economical distribution.
case of book e-tailing, it allows doing away with big shops stuffed with
slow-moving stock. Consider the case of Amazon.com, where the orders are routed
straight to the wholesaler. This implies that the working capital costs are cut
down drastically. Moreover, an e-tailer is paid before he makes payment to his
distributor. This significantly reduces the working capital requirements.
However, one has to compare these gains against certain web-related costs that
have to be borne by a retailer. Setting up and maintaining a website requires
considerable investments both in terms of the money as well as the time. The
logistics and distribution parts of an e-business are of utmost importance and
that is where many e-tailers go wrong.
The emergence of the
unconventional retail channel does not pose any threat to the
traditional retailing. Alternate retail channels will have to co-exist with the
traditional retailing channels.
Even the large and successful e-businesses such as Amazon.com have accepted this fact and are setting up distribution warehouses
for the same reason.
As the combination of retailing and e-tailing set to deliver the goods, the
trend of using the Internet as another service medium will gradually catch up
with the masses.
Retailers have always been subject to enormous competitive strain and the
commonly perceived solution is to add ‘e’ to the business model in an attempt to
capture the attention of a global shopping audience. Such an initiative results
in no more than an additional channel and the successful company must have more
than an electronic distribution medium - it must continue to provide what its
We are witnessing the tip of the iceberg. Such is the growth potential in the
e-tailing industry that it is difficult to quantify the industry's size or
growth. There are pros and cons in both the cases, be it conventional retailing
or e-tailing. With so many hurdles around for e-tailing, it would take time
before it really catches up. But, the trend has surely begun. In the future, we
will see a peaceful and complementary co-existence of conventional retailing and