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It predicts technological progress and explains why the computer industry has been able consistently to come out with products that are smaller, more powerful and less expensive than their predecessors--a dynamic curve that other industries can't match.
There is only difference when it comes to Products between those sold in Brick & Mortar stores versus those sold in online computer stores. That difference, marketed and taken advantage by Dell is --
As seen in the video, in Brick & Mortar Stores, including Apple, only two parts of a computer configuration can be upgraded : The RAM memory and Hard Disk Drive. This is because these components are such that can be replaced and upgraded after post production. However in –
Online stores such as Dell, HP, and Apple allow customization of their products. This allows consumers to create and order products specific to their needs.
We will see later on in this presentation that a fundamental shift in the view of the product itself is causing a change in online retailing strategies.
Products are placed categorically, (Apples, Laptops, Desktops etc.). Hot/exotic products are distinguished with larger or more prominent colored signs (ie. Special Deal Tag)
Further products are placed in an harmonizing fashion. They are placed in eye level view of a main product and usually directly adjacent or opposite to it so that a consumer can easily find a complementary product. Further next to each complementary product are it’s complementary products, creating a chain of products that can be easily viewed and purchased. (Computer->Printer->Paper & Ink)
In Click! (Online) Computer stores, sale items and hot/exotic products are displayed on the main page. Other products can be searched for at will. Sometimes products that are similar to the one your are viewing are located adjacent to the main item, allowing easy browsing.
Further in some online retailers, complementary products are shown when you are looking at a Main Item. These complimentary products are shown adjacent to the main item and allow for cross browsing.
The price ranges of online computer retailers versus brick & mortar stores on average are the same. BUT
Using an online retailer allows you to be selective in such that you can search and find a product that is very inexpensive or a product that is very expensive. This range mobility gives the consumer an advantage in that they are not limited to pricing options.
Consumer volume has decreased, with consumer volume online beginning to increase
However, there has been increased spending per consumer in stores. For example, Best Buy has seen an increase per customer to 193 per month per customer, which has allowed them to stablize their revenue stream.
The supply chain management of online vs brick stores in general is advantageous because of the use of Intelligent Information Systems
Online retailers like Dell, HP, and others have partnered up with their suppliers in creating Universal Electronic codes and have committed to following ISO standards that allow them the ability to run more leaner, faster and intuitive to customer demand than a brick and mortar store.
Findability is an important characteristic for any business regardless of its nature. With the advent of google and powerful algorithms, searing and attaining desired results is easier than ever.
Another reason why online stores are advantageous to brick and mortar stores is because of their findability. Brick and mortar stores are limited to thei locational vicinity and limited to inventory on hand, while online stores have the freedom of the web, allowing them a larger access for consumers as well as giving them a larger ability of findability.
Strengths -Easy to access by many- -Open 24 hours, everyday- -Minimal Costs involved- -No additional hassle for updating inventory and better handle over inventory- -Pull- Weaknesses -Customer wait time increases- -Harder to maintain customer loyalty- -Harder to sell complimentary products- -Older generation not accustomed- Opportunities -Wider selection of products- -Trend towards internet sales- -New generation starting to use web for shopping- Threats -Manufacturers selling direct from their websites- -Competitor prices easier to find on the web- -Information Security Risks-
“ Closing its world famous Topfer PC plant in Austin, TX,
Mike Cannon , President of Global Operations
Dell will still operate that model for the customers who value it, but obviously at very reduced levels (i.e., like a whole Austin plant’s worth), but its now more replicating the supply chains of its competitors.
“ They are very happy with fixed configurations and extended cycle and delivery times,” Cannon said. Dell has said it believes it can save $3 billion annually from various measures, and Cannon said most of that will come out of these changes to the supply chain over the next 2-3 years. It had sales of $61 billion last year, so that’s about a 5% reduction in total costs.”
We recommend that computer product retailers need to analyze their portfolio of products and their customer segment in choosing an effective outlet for their products.
As mentioned computers are becoming a commodity, further as Moore’s Law mentioned prices and costs of computers will decline in the future. This will further turn the computer into more and more of a commodity. This information is important in preparing for the future in two ways –
Mass Market Outlet –
If a computer retailer wants to attract the mass market, it should find a harmonizing balance between online and brick & mortar outlets. This balance will not be stagnant, as the industry begins to commoditize and become more competitive, we predict retailers will begin to use online retailing as an outlet because it will allow more competitive
Niche Market Outlet -
If a computer retailer wants to attract a niche or special segment of the population, we recommend the use of an online site as an outlet. Sites like an alienware.com cater to niche crowds, offering high end customization and products but for a much higher price as well.