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Chapter 5. Web Store Business Models > One-to-One Relationships

One-to-One Relationships

One aspect of the Internet that makes it such a strong medium for business is that it offers the opportunity for people to directly interact with one another. Without the Internet, it is difficult for a company to give close, personal service to a large number of customers. Successful companies and retailers previously shied away from the idea of personal treatment and one-on-one marketing. Companies that enjoyed enormous growth and success were giants that created a common-denominator product line and treated everyone equally to create incredible efficiency both in manufacturing and sales. Some of these companies were McDonald's, General Motors, IBM, General Electric, Wal-Mart, and, later, The Gap.

Computers and the Internet provide the power and efficiency to create extremely targeted, even personal, relationships with customers. That helps smaller operations compete against major stores. Knowing your customers' sizes, favorite shipping methods, and other personal information allows you to provide better customer service.


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