The Costco of the Internet
By George Anderson
As it turns out, the Costco of the Internet is Costco.
The enormously successful warehouse club retailer has taken the same philosophy that has made it great in the real world, a limited selection of luxury goods at very low prices, and applied it to its online operation.
According to a report by the Puget Sound Business Journal, Costco.com has seen sales grow 50 percent so far this year. Last year, the site revenue was the equivalent of three clubs ($376.6 million).
Costco.com is ranked as the seventh most visited Web site by Nielsen/NetRatings and Internet Retailer magazine said it is one of the top 30 e-commerce sites in the U.S.
Liz Elsner, merchandising vice president for Costco, said part of the success of the site is that the products carried on it are unique relative to that which shoppers find in the company’s warehouse stores. “The product we carry on Costco.com overlaps less than 5 percent with the warehouses,” she said.
Moderator’s Comment: What is your evaluation of the opportunities/challenges facing Costco as it attempts to further grow its online business?
– George Anderson – Moderator