The strategy and marketing literature on barriers to entry identifies a range of general factors that protect incumbents but most of this work pre-dates the use of the Internet channel. The Internet is generally considered to make markets more open and competitive. However, the Internet strategy theory does not take into account the nature of the consumer search process. A new online market strategy model is proposed that synthesizes elements of the strategy, marketing and technology literatures and relates market entry strategy with the online consumer search process. The framework is illustrated with original, empirical case evidence from a range of international markets in Europe and the US. Five distinctive strategies are identified: (1) the online launch effect; (2) open web partnerships; (3) build alliance with incumbent; (4) multi-brand attack; and (5) exploit technology shift. It is argued that Internet marketing strategy should be integrated into the marketing function in order to achieve successful implementation.
Holland, Christopher and Mandry, Gordon, "Online Market Entry Strategy and the Consumer Search Process" (2012). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2012. 44.