The online store is a hybrid with traditional influences. An online store is neither a typical catalog nor a retail store. It's a combination of both—plus added technology brings the capability to present products in brand new ways. The online store has evolved into its own organism and the following five factors are part of its inherent nature:
The online store is a software product.
The online store is a product catalog.
The online store is a retail shopping experience.
The online store is a communications vehicle.
The online store is virtual sales representative.
Some of these factors have influenced online shopping as e-merchants have tapped their value. The next few chapters explore these influences in depth so you can ...