Business Models or Lack Thereof

Ben Griffith of the LA Times has written a piece that unashamedly states ecommerce business model innovation is dead. And by virtue, Amazon is winner takes all. He writes:

When it became clear in 2012 that Groupon and Gilt would not live up to soaring expectations, copycats pivoted away from the model. But instead of focusing on the fundamentals (supply-chain management, say, or customer service), many of them simply latched onto the next hot strategy.

With such carnage, it’s puzzling that so many e-commerce entrepreneurs continue to chase buzzy new business models.

Why do ecommerce operators chase new business models? Griffiths goes further:

…the explanation is simple: As long as there’s an Amazon, there will be e-commerce fads. The Jeff Bezos-led behemoth has already won on price, selection and service. All that leaves is novelty.

We’ve written before about business models but is the author correct?

Whilst there’s ongoing evidence to the contrary, particularly in other markets e.g. VIP.com in China or India’s Snapdeal, perhaps he’s right. Content, Subscriptions etc have all been tried (Net-A-Porter, Thrillist etc) and yet not a single IPO signalling a viable business.

Should everyone give up on the illusive IPO? If Zappos couldn’t do it, can Jet.com? If you’re running a store, what is your exit? Let us know in the comments.

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