Can operations management impact significantly the profitability of consumer‐based businesses on the Internet (called B2C)? During the past two years, Internet retailers have not provided satisfactory financial results. Whereas, leading in‐store retailers have been profitable using traditional modes for selling and delivering goods to customers. The research underlying this paper focused on analyzing the costs of doing business which are affected by operations management decisions. We wanted to determine if the criteria for best practice normally used by operations managers applied to firms engaged in e‐tailing (Internet B2C). To do this we singled out a well‐known dot.com retail failure, Webvan. Cost data were studied from startup (1998) to bankruptcy (2001). It was found that operating costs were way out of line with (even) good practice. Under in‐store retailing circumstances, the inability to reach breakeven would not have been tolerated. While concentrating on Webvan, this paper uses information about other firms to provide additional insights.
Starr, M. (2003), "Application of POM to e‐business: B2C e‐shopping", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 105-124. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570310453280Download as .RIS
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