1. The example of eToys.com suggests that multichannel retailers are more likely to experience long-run success in the Internet economy than are pure-play Internet retailers. Take a position on this conjecture and defend your position. Is there anything to learn from the profitability and sales growth chart in Figure 3.5 (pg. 74) in this regard? What role did investors and media play in supporting the aggressive spending on marketing play and did it contribute to its demise?
2. Consider Figure 3.5 (pg.74) and the differences in profitability and sales growth between the three firms. Are there any other factors other than those mentioned in the text that explain the differences in profitability and sales growth between these companies? As a consultant, what would you recommend as opportunities for improvement?
3. Explain the “customer lifetime value” concept. Thinking about a specific firm, how could it use the concept of CLV to increase the overall profitability of its customer base? What is a brand that you personally are a champion of and why?
4. What do you think the future is for customized products? Think of an example of a product that could reasonably be customized and explain why the target customer would find value in the customization. Does the Apple iWatch fit this description?
5. Data mining has evolved in recent years. Kroger is an example of how data mining can be used as a separate revenue-generating model. How does Kroger use third-party aggregators to sell consumer information back to the supply chain? What benefits does the customer obtain by allowing the use of purchase information?