Given the pressures facing both manufacturers and retailers in today’s CE environment, the search is on for solutions that maximize sales and strengthen margins, without taking on significant expense or overhead. The future of these revenue enhancements will be services, although they may not resemble the services that today’s customers are routinely offered.
Less than a dozen years after first entering the commercial sphere, it’s fair to say that the World Wide Web has revolutionized the consumer electronics industry. For manufacturers, it has provided a way to finally present the compelling value propositions to consumers that many felt weren’t adequately provided by the retailer. For retailers, it has changed business models, with increased reliance on customer self service and much-reduced reliance on commissioned sales personnel. For consumers, it has been both a research assistant and shopping aid, and in many cases, substitutes completely for the in-store retail experience. As a result, virtually every consumer electronics company now