The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Retailers have improved the online shopping experience as far as they can

Once in a while Doc Searls comes up with a classic statement, and this is one of those [emphasis mine]. 

The buyer’s envelope, please

In the meantime, consider this thesis: Amazon and other excellent online retailers have improved the online shopping experience as far as a retailer can. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but there is only so much improvement you can carry out only on the sell side, even if you’re equipping buyers to do a better and better job. At a certain point the improvements need to happen on the buy side. You need better buyers, not just better sellers. You need to improve the tools available to buyers — tools that help buyers with all sellers, and not just within each seller’s walled garden or silo.

Therefore… At a certain point the problem is no longer scale but scope.

This is the argument for Vendor Relationship Management

Written by Colin Henderson

September 11, 2008 at 00:02

5 Responses

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  1. I don’t think a site like Amazon that is cluttered and overwhelming can be said to have “have improved the online shopping experience as far as a retailer can”. The online shopping experience isn’t just how well laid out and fast your chopping cart is. Its also about the graphic design and layout of your website.

    Jana

    September 11, 2008 at 07:16

  2. @Jana …. true, there is always room for improvement. But I think that just by existing, and offerring a broad service, albeit with a clunky site, that the big shift has ocurred for vendors. Now what about purchasers, consumers – what about the tools for them? They purchase from others beyond Amazon. Amazon is just one vendor for consumers.

    Colin

    September 11, 2008 at 08:36

  3. This makes me think of the HBR article from 2003, “IT Doesn’t Matter.” The argument is Internet Technology is like a utility (think railroads, electricity, etc) which only provides a competitive advantage for a short time. Soon it will just be a business requirement.

    Tom

    September 11, 2008 at 10:41

  4. @Tom … couldn’t agree more, and I recall that article. Banks are a long way from using internet technology effectively, but yes, even if they did, where’s the differentiation?

    Colin

    September 12, 2008 at 00:50

  5. […] 14, 2008 by Ron Shevlin Thanks, as always, to Bankwatch, for finding this from Doc Searls: Amazon and other excellent online retailers have improved the […]


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