The Pick and Pack Idea

A Short E-Commerce Study For The Thompson Publishing Group

E-COMMERCE AND THE PICK&PACK OPPORTUNITY

I. Preface

The Study

Most off-line businesses are looking for their on-line business opportunity. Less than a year ago, web pundits suggested caution when pursuing web retailing. In the last several months companies have jumped at web opportunities as if they were running in fear that their business niche, real or imagined, would disappear as e-commerce becomes the main venue for sellers meeting buyers.

This two-part study is prompted by the enormous amount of public attention being given to the current birth pains of e-commerce on the web. Specifically, we want to know:

 

–  Is there a new opportunity in e-commerce for independent pick&pack services?

–  How is the web/e-commerce opportunity structured for our profitability?

 

Two items of note begin the research.   First, a look at the much publicized Yahoo Shopping Mall, its portal competitors and the merchants now appearing on the web. Second a look at the e-com spin in the news epitomized by the July 2, 1999 Kiplinger Washington Letter which stated:
Lots of venture capital out there” Distribution firms are the latest darlings……They see a huge demand for firms that can pack, track and deliver goods sold over the internet, especially as web shopping begins to take off.”

 

This short study/synopsis is the first of three project parts. Limited to ten days, the bulk of the research was on-line; visiting more than 120 web sights and reviewing the same number of news articles. The research focus was on web portal operators, shopping malls, the competing pick&pack community and views expressed in on-line newsletters and magazines. Several books and paper publications were also helpful.

For the sake of brevity, the actual articles and other web materials are not included in the document. The are included as MS Word rich text files on the accompanying zip drive. These rich text documents also act as a general bibliography for the study.

Part A is directed toward uncovering and explaining the role of pick&pack in the setting of e-tailing and e-commerce. Part B will be pursued after the results of Part A have been reviewed by management and will be directed toward defining and building an appropriate business plan. Part C, if commercially appropriate would implement a business plan.

II. Table Of Contents

I. Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

II. Table Of Contents…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

I. The Study Questions………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

A. What are the latest sales projections for e-tailing?………………………………………………………………………………. 2

B. What must we bone up on relative to e-tail, the internet and the web?………………………………………………. 2

C. What do the leading portals, search engines & on-line malls tell us?…………………………………………………… 2

D. What do online malls and catalogs offer?…………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

E. Catalog Merchants And Store Merchants…………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

F. Visitors, Merchants & The Web…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

G. Visitor Statistics…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

H. Web Visitors As “Lookers and Bookers”…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

I. What is the traditional pick&pack community is doing?……………………………………………………………………… 2

J. Is there a ready market for independent pick&pack?………………………………………………………………………….. 2

K. What the pick&pack opportunity is not!…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

L. What are the answers we need?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

II. Outlining An E-Commerce Model…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

A. Special Notes……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

B. The first requirement is web connection to a totally restructured supply activity manager………………… 2

C. There is no reason to pursue e-commerce unless you can increase sales and reduce operating costs… 2

D. E-Comizing Logistics: All Participants And The Whole Process………………………………………………………….. 2

E. No Published Master Plan……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

F. Best Guess: Ultimate E-com Scenario…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

G. The Economies Of E-Com………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

III. What Do We Do In The Mean Time?……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

A. Decide A Course Of Action…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

B. If We Want to be Proactive…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

IV. Synopsis…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

A. E-tailing……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

B. E-Com…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

I. Preface Part B…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

II. The Business Definition………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

III. The Business Plan………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2