Why is eBay being pressed to
growth in their core online auction business, and why did they have to
negotiate freight rates with United Parcel Service for their merchants?
And why do online
raise shipping charges? If not, they merely get the
entire blame for raising shipping charges, even though they transferred
only the increment in freight resulting from gas price spikes. All the
indications are that online sales have reached a plateau, and unless
there is any breakthrough on the way, it is destined for a dead end.
Online sales in the United
to $116 billion as of end-2006, accounting for 5% of all the retail
sales across the nation. As recent as mid-June 2007, New York
two leading market research firms, Forrester Research and Jupiter
Research, as saying the annual growth of online sales will slow to 7%
in 2011 from the 2004 peak of 25%.
Will their market prediction
come true? Or else will there be
a major breakthrough that will prove the prediction wrong?
about online auctioneers, like eBay, Overstock.com, Amazon.com and
uBid? Are they bracing up for any new technology that will tilt the
battleground to start a new round
of joust. Do they just rely on outdated weapons of ancient history? Or
do they plan to build a new arsenal for online sales?
Return of Pioneers
Pioneers are back
in the battleground. And why? Michale
Dell took over the reign of Dell Inc., and Jerry Yang takes
Yahoo. Will their prowess on the battlefield work?
computers are on Wal-Mart store shelves now, which is a significant
departure from its traditional sales strategy.
the era of Nikola Tesla, pioneers like Tesla used to die broke. Things
have changed drastically since then. And nowadays pioneers don't hang
around broke. Normally, they may have reaped a good harvest of revenue
and are fabulously wealthy. There abound hordes of angel
investors, venture capitalists, investment bankers and private equity
investors in search of fairly lucrative deals.
However, the return of pioneers like Michael Dell and Jerry Yang
doesn't have anything to do with hordes of venture
private equity firms. The returning pioneers have to deal with the
market itself and competitors, and find a strategy to win over the
hearts of consumers.
The pioneers should not try to turn back the clock, but
learn how new technologies have changed the market, and what technology
is emerging. Their best bets will be to check out if their core
some technology content. If their core business has got all the
sophisticated marketing mix but without any technological
breakthrough, stakes are very high for them. If their
arsenal is empty, their business may be destined for a buffalo jump or
a techno limbo. By 2011, how many of the current market leaders do you
remain at the top?
Classical Music Archive
Can you put
a buffalo on eBay or a herd of them?
in Techno limbos
Figuratively , some techno
are being driven off a buffalo jump. And some others are stuck
in techno limbos. A few will get out of techno limbos soon enough, but
a lot of them will remain there for some time. But those
driven off a buffalo jump will never regain their past glory.
As the World Wide
Web was the great invention of the century to start
an Internet era, there will be another technological take-off in
waiting. At the dawn of new technology breakthroughs, there are always
some sort of Gotterdammerung in some segments of technology. It is a
predestined process of "creative destruction".
Mobile technology is a new
technology is in a nascent stage now, but will
soon see a sea change in this industry sector. Struggles
different formats and standards will start converging to a focal point
sooner or later, and will witness a cladogenetic evolution into
In mobile technology, every techie is a newbie and it
is a vast untrodden barren that portends to be a land of promise. In
other words, not all of today's winners in mobile technology will be
there in another 5 years. The reason is that there will be a big
shake-up in telecom industry between 2009 and 2010, when a bumpy
transition from 3G to 4G is unavoidable.
Syncing real and virtual worlds
is a key
you can make a bid online and pick it up in real
time, skipping multimodal delivery, there could be a new realm of
online sales that comes with real-time feedback. This auction on the go
will be location-based, and will create some momentum and agility.
Good and Bad of Online
online auctions first appeared on the web, it was a brave new
world. People were able to virtually go beyond borders in hot pursuit
of what they needed by visiting the online auction sites like eBay.
In other words, the entire planet turned into a one whole
market whose pricing mechanism was based on fair biddings by bona fide
flip side is, however, that online
easily turn buyers into sellers on the spur of the
While bona fide buyers and sellers do that, that is still good. But if
there are some sort of logrollings among groups of
sellers/buyers, then online auction sites may be infected with shill
on the go, in the meantime, will be linked to mobile
that will envision the real-time bridge between
real worlds in no time. This real-time bridge will
eventually limit the border-crossing nature of online
but will move to localize auctions in each specialized field
enable the same day pickup of merchandises auctioned off.
All of the above was written in 2007 and seems to be a bit outdated for
now in mid-October 2008. Meg Whitman is gone from the eBay perch, John
Donahoe, current CEO, is trying to shift away from the merely shill
bidding type of business to move toward discount sales of goods. He
might have to consider this new type of business: auctions on the
go, which will help sync the real world and cyber auctions in the years