Telematics and retail trade

Date of publication: June 15, 1989


This study is focussed on the consequences of these so-called tele-information services for the structure and the developments in the distribution of consumer goods in the nineties. The study was based on literature-research and a lot of expert-interviews. Because of the important role of electronic communications in the distribution channel, a wide application of electronic payment and various forms of teleshopping, the structure of retailing will change: • the difference between trade and services will fade • the difference between small and large retailers will fade • the borderlines between lines of business in retailing will fade (cross-trading) • vertical relations in the distribution channel will be strengthened • European integration (EC 1992) will reinforce internationalisation of retailing and will also give impulses to tele-information services. Small independent shopkeepers as well as large retail-chains have to deal with the positive and negative consequences of tele-information services. The consequences offer both threats and opportunities. The profits from efficiency which can be gained by the adoption of telematics have to be invested in service quality. The combination of an efficient use of telematics and top quality personalised service offers the best opportunities for retailing on its way to the year 2000.

Jan G. A. M. de Jong


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