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Summary

In this chapter we have discussed business models and business issues for three business segments that benefit from Internet commerce: consumer retail, business-to-business cataloging, and information commerce. There are obviously many other business segments—government and health care are but two examples—that stand to benefit from applying Internet technology, but we hope our three choices cast a broad enough net to engage the reader into thinking carefully about the opportunities presented by the Internet and into analyzing carefully the complete customer value chain.

Within any business segment, whether related to the Internet or not, different participants have different goals. At a high level, for example, customers want the best products at the lowest prices, and vendors want to make as much money as possible. Understanding these differences and how to reconcile them in successful sales is a key part of any business strategy. Internet technology, in general, and Internet commerce, in particular, bring some thorny issues to the fore. In the next chapter, we look at some examples of these issues and discuss ways to analyze and address them in commerce systems.


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