E-commerce was a very small phenomenon at the beginning of the 21st century. Since then, it has grown to gargantuan proportions, to the point where commercial digital platforms have gained online hegemony. In fact, for Philippe Moati, professor of economics at the University of Paris, consumption has shifted mostly to platforms. Among these, the biggest is Amazon, of course. Once a simple American site selling books, it has become the leader in online retail.
Amazon's hegemony is easily explained, according to him. Already, the crisis covid and confinements have allowed a greater demand for the use of the site, including among the elderly. In addition, the creation of Jeff Bezos has managed to implement an impeccable customer service with fast deliveries, leaving a good impression with consumers.
What's more, while a supermarket may offer about 80,000 types of products, Amazon offers 250 million. Aiming to be a marketplace, they don't lose any money if a seller fails to attract buyers and, conversely, earn money on all transactions made.
Add to that an investment in audiovisual production, video games, computer services and more, the behemoth seems unstoppable and has left its competitors, including eBay, in the dust. And this quasi-monopoly is allowed, among other things, by taxes in all cases avoided and more than questionable working conditions in its warehouses.
So, is there any way to offer something other than the American giant? Sure, governments can legally try to fight back, but they are lagging behind. Vendors could always join forces to form a critical mass to compete with it. So far, however, no one seems to have managed to pull off that feat.
We rarely know the distribution of the money raised by the sale of an object. So, when we buy a book, how much goes to the author? To the publisher? To the distributor? Fortunately, in France, it is possible to know the percentages in force.
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