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E-Commerce claims a victim?
Copyright © 1997 to Bruce Simpson, syndication rights available
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9 Feb 1998

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In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in New Zealand, e-commerce on the Net appears to have claimed a victim in the form of Simply Shareware.

Mystery surrounds the exact state of Simply Shareware's operation with at least two reports suggesting they may have ceased trading - although their Web site still seems accessible.

Simply Shareware was formed in the days before the Internet became the primary mechanism for distributing shareware. They have offered a wide range of shareware and freeware products which have been distributed by diskette and CDROM. Faced with the cost of providing software on physical media and with the burden of freight it's hard to see how they could expect to retain market-share in the age of electronic distribution.

Although they have made an attempt to sell product through the Net there is no way they can compete with sites such as Jumbo.com, Shareware.com, Tucows.com and other sites which offered much of the same software for free.

Simply Shareware also seemed to place little emphasis on their Web site with pages like this seemingly not updated for some time. Their printed catalog however has widely been praised for its layout and content.

As more companies move to the Net as a a sales platform it is expected that this will place increasing pressure on those who lag behind. Examples of this are retailers such as Amazon and CDNow who pass on the reduced costs associated with e-commerce by offering significant discounts. Already many New Zealanders are buying their books and CDs off the Web directly from the USA.

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