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The Market MakersHow Retailers are Reshaping the Global Economy$
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Gary G. Hamilton, Benjamin Senauer, and Misha Petrovic

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590179.001.0001

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Amazon and eBay: Online Retailers as Market Makers

Amazon and eBay: Online Retailers as Market Makers

(p.155) Chapter 5 Amazon and eBay: Online Retailers as Market Makers
The Market Makers

Suresh Kotha

Sandip Basu

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, Suresh Kotha and Sandip Basu describe the effects of recent technological changes on retailing, in particular the development of the Internet and of overnight delivery services. The Internet and online retailing have given rise to new retailing formats for selling traditional products, such as in the case of Amazon.com and books. In addition, these new technologies have generated new forms of market making. One of the best and most successful examples is eBay.com, which brings together millions of buyers and sellers in a cyber marketplace. Online shopping has also impacted on incumbent retailers, whether they see the Internet as just another marketing channel or a new approach to retailing. Some existing retailers, such as Wal-Mart, are trying largely to use an online presence to leverage their physical assets, but that could change in the future. Online retailers are still in the process of discovering what works and what does not, although it appears that the current global recession has substantially increased people’s willingness to buy and sell online. Broadband connectivity has given a major boost to online retailing. The next stage, just beginning to emerge, may be global online retailing. Finally, the easy availability of information on the Internet, especially with the development of sophisticated search engines, such as Google, has helped create more knowledgeable consumers. Even if they do not buy online, by using the Internet, many consumers now are much better informed than in the past. When potential customers who have searched on the Internet come into automobile dealerships, for instance, they may literally know as much about the car models and pricing as the salesperson.

Keywords:   online retailing, amazon.com, eBay.com, google, market makers, book retailing, consumer markets, broadband connectivity

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