The internet has significantly changed the relationship existing between consumers and retailers. With the introduction of the internet greater transparency of the market has come about, for those consumers whom use the internet. This greater transparency makes it easier for consumers to look for the cheapest and/or best retailers.
More recently with WEB 2.0 applications becoming more prevelant, the power of the consumer has been enhanced further. Consumers can now give feedback on their experiences with retailers, which can change future shopping behavior by consumers.
This last change will not only affect online retailers but will also have an impact on 'brick and mortar' retailers.
The only thing is, not everyone uses the internet, or if they do not everyone checks out reviews etc. Thus in the end we still have a mix of new and old in the same mix.