In the age of the internet, personal computers, and the wide availability of internet service providers, consumers have seen a drastic change in their relationships with suppliers. The use of the World Wide Web, which enables the direct connection of consumers to suppliers, has created a more effective method of eliminating the middle man and enabling the consumer to have greater access to the ever-growing list of service and goods providers.
Essentially, the World Wide Web has been more of an enabling tool for shoppers’ capabilities. It has enabled consumers to access a wide selection of suppliers, their reputation, and prices and created an environment where comparison shopping has become substantially easier. Nevertheless, the fundamentals have not changed. One of the rather simple examples of the influence of the internet on consumer and supplier relationships is a 3-year-old study that shows that car shopping, in particular, has been negatively affected by a particular segment of society.
The consumer and supplier relationship is still symbiotic in which both parties rely on each other’s ability to satisfy their respective needs. Consumers need suppliers to satisfy their wants in terms of necessary products and services; suppliers need consumers to produce profits. The role of the World Wide Web, though not saddle, has not changed those fundamentals.
Ultimately, both parties; shoppers and suppliers, have used and are using the World Wide Web as an additional tool to ease the process; a means to an end. Nevertheless, the impact of the World Wide Web can be felt in the micro aspects of that symbiotic relationship which has seen advantages and disadvantages.
Brought to you by World Consulting Group — Your premier Management Consulting Firm.