The emergence of the internet contributed to the development of the online retail industry. Business houses realized that internet-based operations would be an effective way to expand their market coverage and thereby improve market share. However, companies identified that technological innovations and efficient management are two components necessary for ensuring successful business operations. Historically, the online retail industry has been established and grown in the United States very fast as compared to other developed nations. It is obvious that US is much ahead of other industrialized nations in case of IT advancements, and hence the country’s online retail industry performs well. While analyzing the current US online retail industry, it seems that this business sector has not been much affected by the recent global recession even though this crisis weakened the overall US economic growth. According to a Forrester projection (as cited in Wauters), the US online retail sector will grow by 10 percent during the period 2010-2015 and reach $279 billion in 2015. This growth rate is greatly enhanced by the US online retail giant Amazon.com. The Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in1994. Although the company began its operations as an online bookstore, it rapidly expanded its business to other areas such as DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, video games, apparel, computer software, food, and toys. Currently, Amazon is positioned as the world’s largest online retailer.
Evidently, improved information flow has brought tremendous changes to marketing and sales activities in the online retail sector. Before the introduction of E-commerce facilities, companies used traditional promotional channels to market and sell their products.