Retailer adoption of the Internet – implications for retail marketing

Ellis-Chadwick, Fiona; Doherty, Neil and Hart, Cathy (2000). Retailer adoption of the Internet – implications for retail marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 34(8) pp. 954–974.



To date, most of the commentary on the impact of the Internet on retail marketing has been anecdotal, offering exaggerated speculative forecasts of its future potential. One view contends that the Internet will become a major new retail format, replacing the traditional dominance of fixed location stores. However, little academic research exists to either disprove or support the claims of Internet penetration by retailers. Seeks to redress the balance by presenting a comprehensive and rigorous review of UK retailer Internet activities. A sampling frame of 1,099 UK retail multiples was used, and each Web site individually inspected to categorise the range of marketing functions and services offered. The findings indicated that, despite the hype, the majority of retail organisations surveyed have not yet registered a Web site address. Moreover, of those retail organisations that have developed a Web site, the vast majority are using it primarily as a communication tool to promote corporate or product information to Internet users, rather than to support direct sales. In conclusion, summarises the implications of these current levels of Internet activity for the future of retail marketing.

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