Walk a mile in their shoes? Why when you can buy a new pair online? Amazon.com, a household name by most accounts, has done the unthinkable. Rather than crash and burn alongside many a doomed dot-com, the e-commerce engine took a big bite out of the home shopping market. Though the company's mainstay is still media (books, CDs and DVDs) consumer electronics has been the second, most successful category added. By reaching CE shoppers online, Amazon may have forever changed the way people get their tech.
Because of Amazon's notable rise, earning kudos when it debuted in 1995, plenty of offline retailers have raised suspicious eyebrows about Amazon's impact on shopping habits. But for every angry brick and mortar who lobs claims that the e-commerce engine is ruining retail, there is a comparatively elated Amazon partner whose business is doing even better thanks to the one-box-at-a-time model. From Amazon's Seattle, Wa.-based headquarters, the management team thinks like a consumer thinks. And that has a lot of competitors shaking in their own shoes.
"While traditional retailers may see the internet as a threat, I think the internet is helping to make the pie larger and it's making people more comfortable with new technology quickly," explains Glenn Cunningham, Amazon's director of electronics. "The data that we have seen from Jupiter is for every dollar spent online there is a corresponding six dollars spent offline."