Commodity Knowledge - Revitalized on the Inter¬net?

Michael Pieber, Horst Treiblmaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Commodity knowledge used to be a popular part of the general education, but its use has declined since the beginning of the 1970ies. During the past decades new marketing strategies and concepts increasingly concentrated on communicating brand images and, in doing so, focused on abstract values more than on the products themselves and their commodity characteristics. This can be traced back to the fact that only a limited amount of time or space is available (depending on the chosen communication medium), and the consumers' attention is highly restricted. With the advent of the Internet age, the communication limits vanished. The Internet can be seen as the first medium that is virtually unlimited according to the quantity (amount) and the quality (depth) of information that can be delivered to users. In addition, it allows for interactivity whereby the user actively chooses which information to consume. This paper investigates whether or not the new possibilities of communication on the Internet are used by companies to address commodity characteristics of their products. The authors develop a new framework to analyze 164 Web sites from different sectors of the industry and categorize the web-based communication regarding product-orientation and commodity knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-62
JournalForum Ware International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Commodity Science
  • Commodity Knowledge
  • Internet Communication
  • Product Information
  • Marketing


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