Publication Details

Francis, J. E. & White, L. (2004). Internet retailing: Back to the Future. Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (pp. 1-7). Wellington, New Zealand: Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy.


This is an exciting era where academics are well positioned to cut through the hype and get down to the business of establishing Internet retailing as a distinct, credible and productive domain. Arguably, a critical step in advancing involves pausing to reflect on the emergence of other domains and capitalising on the power of hindsight to pre-emptively address undesirable patterns that risk being repeated. Towards this end, the conditions under which services marketing emerged as a domain in its own right are considered relative to the current state of Internet retailing. This highlights that just as services were once considered a minor aspect of goods, selling to consumers via the Internet appears to be conceived as a minor extension of Internet marketing. It also reveals that like early services marketing, there is an absence of established terms, definitions and classifications and that this may inhibit the advancement of Internet retailing knowledge by disguising conceptual oversights that lead to incomplete or inaccurate research conclusions. As such, the final portion of the discussion examines the taxonomy of Internet retailing and proposes avenues through which to affirm the uniqueness of, and more rigorously investigate, this marketing activity.