With traditional retailing, customers go to a physical store and purchase items that they then take home. Large quantities are delivered to each store or supermarket; there are not too many delivery destinations. With e-tailing, customers want the goods quickly and to have them shipped to their homes. Deliveries of small quantities need to go to a large number of destinations. Also, items must be available for immediate delivery. Therefore, maintaining an inventory of items becomes critical. Maintaining inventory and shipping products costs money and takes time, which may negate some of the advantages of e-tailing. Let’s see how Amazon.com, the “king” of e-tailing, handles the situation.
Electronic Commerce, pp 559-594 Part of the Springer Texts in Business and Economics book series (STBE)