Published: May 11, 2011 in Knowledge@Wharton
A decade after pets.com and a string of other early Internet specialty retailers collapsed, a new wave of start-ups — enabled by the power of cloud computing, advanced delivery systems and deep social relationships with customers — is shaping e-commerce.
From diapers and eyeglasses to pool tables and, yes, pet products, entrepreneurs are developing specialty businesses to compete alongside one-stop shopping giants like Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
“There is a new generation — Internet retail 2.0,” says Wharton marketing professor David Bell, noting that after the 2000 dot-com bust, activity in online specialty retailers dried up as financing became difficult, or impossible, to get and industry executives struggled to evaluate failed business models.
Now, engineers have dramatically reduced obstacles to creating web-based businesses, and entrepreneurs have learned more about how to capture online consumers. Many of these small players are working in affiliation with Amazon or other major online retailers that assist with the marketing platform and/or delivery fulfillment. …read more on Knowledge@Wharton website.