The internet presents opportunities and pitfalls for producers of a huge variety of products and services. Sorting out these opportunities and pitfalls is complex, requiring attentionto detail, yet persistent focus on the big picture. A firm fails to anticipate its rivals' decisions and reactions at its peril. Indeed, thinking through the logical future moves of one's rivals is often critical to distinguishing a profitable opportunity from a pitfall.
In surprisingly common circumstances, marketing products via internet auctions will not be a source of significant increased profitability. Yet a more detailed understanding of rivalry in marketing may imply that failing to adopt internet auction selling, or improperly designing the auctions, may have even more dire consequences for the firm's future profitability.