Re: Model error.
Amazon have too much of a head-start for anybody to be able to catch up.
If you remember those few short years ago when they first appeared, they were selling books. They were priced so that the discounted price and the shipping together was a penny cheaper than the RRP on the back of the cover, the one that all the bricks-and-morter booksellers would be charging. Often, it would be delivered next working day, even though you did not pay for one day delivery (although this is something that they stopped once they were established).
At the same time, the physical booksellers were desperately trying to shoehorn other items into their stores, because they were having trouble surviving, especially against the supermarkets, which would be selling the bestseller list at a discount. as a result, the number (and number of copies) of books traditional bookstores stocked was significantly reduced. They all, however, offered to order in any titles they did not have on the shelves.
OK. I want to buy a book, lets say part of a series. Waterstones, Borders and Smiths would have the latest one in the series, but none of the others. They offer to order it in. But I can get it in the same timescales, possibly cheaper, delivered to my door from Amazon. What a tough decision to make! And this was the foot in the door.
Then they moved on to music, stocking centrally even the most obscure titles. Once they started getting the distribution network established, they were then able to move, seemingly, into everything else, and even established an IT model for their own use that they worked out that they could sell.
Now, they've tied their customer base to them with seductive offerings like Prime. (I really, really want to support my local shops, but when I can order something not available locally on Saturday afternoon, and actually get it delivered on SUNDAY for free, even I find that irresistible).
Even the largest retailer or wholesaler would have difficulty competing with them, although it seems like in the UK, Sainsburys/Argos and Tesco are giving it a go.
But here is what I think is the ironic thing. Many of the shops that Amazon threaten are now being set up to act as a collection point for Amazon deliveries. This must really feel like a kick in the teeth for some of them!