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The Internet has changed the way consumers are shopping and the result is that there have been winners and losers. There is no longer a demand for many types of products from local businesses that were popular in the past. Entire areas of the economy have been eliminated and still others are under pressure to survive.

The death of used bookstores

One of the first casualties was the local used bookstore. Book lovers would comb shelf after shelf looking for that one book they needed for a collection or find a great deal on a book that had more value than other shoppers thought. Other book lovers would like to be surprised at books they might find that they didn’t know existed. All of this changed with eCommerce. With the development of sites such as Amazon that allowed third party vendors to sell used books everything changed. Suddenly, the book a reader was looking for was immediately available. It was just a matter of using your credit card and placing the order.

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As more vendors came online, the prices of used books plummeted and brick and mortar shops went out of business all across the country.

New book retailers are being hit hard

Amazon alone has had a tremendous influence on bookstores selling new books. They heavily discounted their offerings from the beginning of their operation and this made up for the shipping cost of the book. New books became cheaper online. Today, there are still a few bookstores that sell new books locally, but often the best place to buy offline is with a discount retailer that sells many items in volume.

Local retail and department stores under price pressure

Another more recent issue that is pressuring retailers is that people first shop on the Internet to find the best prices. They either buy what they find or take the best prices they discover online and comparison shop locally. Few retail stores can compete with online pricing because the overhead of a local retail store is much greater than an eCommerce company. Online stores have lower rent because they don’t need a fancy building to attract customers. They don’t need to pay for security to prevent shoplifting. Only the largest retailers can compete with online stores, and this is only because they can buy in volume. Even then, large retailers are attempting to sell more products online so they can offer a wider range of products than can be carried in a local store.

Written by Jeremy Page. Jeremy is a sports fan and heavy consumer of Dr. Pepper. He enjoys hiking and all things tech.

Posted in Uncategorized on Sep 26, 2013