BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : MARCH 22, 1999 ISSUE
BUSINESS WEEK E.BIZ

Customers Rule


Internet commerce is likely to shift the balance of commercial power to the buyer. Here's why:

INSTANT CHOICE
On the Net, competition is just a click away. If people have trouble finding a book at Amazon.com, they can go to barnesandnoble.com.

COMPARISON SHOPPING
People can easily find a wealth of information on the Net to compare prices. CompareNet, for instance, offers detailed information on more than 100,000 consumer products. Other sites offer software agents to find stuff.

PURCHASING POWER
The Net allows consumers and corporate buyers from all over the world to band together, pool their purchasing power, and get volume discounts. By pooling purchases over the Web, GE divisions get price reductions from suppliers of up to 20% on more than $1 billion worth of goods purchased online.

GLOBAL REACH
The Net eliminates the geographic protections of local businesses. Car dealers selling online, for example, have drawn buyers from hundreds of miles away.



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