Cynics would say etailing will be a dead duck by October because the internet bubble will have fully deflated by then (today the FTSE index plummeted withins minutes of opening, shares in lastminute.com were down to 135p after launching on the Stock Exchange last month at 380p). Perhaps. But probably not. Etailing isnt going to take over the world, but it will settle down to being an important additiona; channel for a certain, albeit small, percentage of your customers.
Theres precious little profit in being an internet discounter (just as in bricks and mortar retailing) but an IBD website can offer far more than just good prices. Very few bike etailers will be able to compete on the world stage, but every IBD can have an excellent local site, giving prospective and existing customers many megabytes of useful info on the shop, the shops current promotions and any extra curriculum activities such as workshop courses or club rides.
Eretailing 2000 will be held at Olympia 2 on 19-20th October and is now a bi-annual event. As well as the high-powered seminars theres also a tagged-on exhibition showcasing technology, software and services for etailer.
BikeBiz will be going again and will post a nightly report from the conference each night.