Difference between shopping mall with a website and an Internet Company

Hello everyone. As I watched the video “What makes an AI company” and specifically, the lesson of Internet Era, it points out the difference between a shopping mall that has a website where it sells things and an Internet Company (such as Amazon for instance).

I’m not sure if I understand why does a shopping mall website cannot perform A/B testing just like an Internet Company website can. Maybe I’m missing the concept of A/B testing? Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.


Hi Joana, Thanks for using discourse and alluding the topic. The essence of A/B testing is that we show people two slightly different variations of the same thing or a page in case of a website. This experiment is done in parallel that is the incoming users are divided into 2 groups each of which sees one of the 2 variations. Now their behaviour is monitored and any changes in their response can mostly be tied to the slight variation with a reasonable amount of confidence because everything else is the same. This however cannot be done in an offline shopping mall as in yes, you could do it but it can’t be done in parallel and it would require a lot more effort to physically change the store for the experiment in case you want to test the placement of the store not to mention the financial viability and space constraints that one could run into. Also you cannot attribute the change in behaviour to the slight difference as the conditions might or might be similar (at most). This is why we usually perform A/B testing in an Internet Company but not a shopping mall. Hope this answered your query.

A:B Testing


Thank you for the answer @mtejas12310 , it really clarified my thoughts on this! :hugs:

Hi Joana. I agree with you that the answer from @mtejas12310 was very helpful.

I still have a doubt regarding this topic .
If you consider Zara which has an online website /app , physical store and amazon which operates online .
Both the companies can perform AB testing through there websites .

Hello, @Keerthana_Reddy. Thank you for using Discourse. I understand your question, and you mentioned the Zara brand, which has a website, an app and Amazon. It is true that they can conduct A/B testing through their websites or apps, but a few factors must be clarified.

A/B testing entails displaying two distinct versions of the same product, such as two different versions of the same website or two different store layouts. The outcomes are then compared between these variations, which must be of the same type (for example, website vs. website). Zara’s app and website can, in fact, be subjected to A/B testing. A/B testing at real stores, on the other hand, is neither possible nor advised (You can refer to the previous response for a detailed explanation).

I hope this answers your query.

Thank you for the answer @mtejas12310 ,It helped me a lot to understand the topic in a more better way

So can we claim any e-commerce website as an Internet Company? Meaning, a company selling their products purely online. Could they be called as an internet Company?

Hi @Arun_Padmanabhan, Thanks for using Discourse. The answer to your query - “Can you call a company that sells its products completely online an Internet company?” is Yes.

An organisation that presents itself to the general public primarily via a website is an Internet Company. One thing to emphasise here is that it is primarily via a website, which means that it can have physical stores as well. The term “Internet company” is not strictly defined by the presence or absence of physical retail locations but rather by its primary business model and focus on online operations.

An Internet company is typically one whose core operations, products, or services are centered around the internet and digital platforms. These businesses use the internet as their major platform for doing business, selling items, providing support to customers. Additionally, the company could also have a physical store, and that does not invalidate the company’s identity as an Internet company as long as its primary focus remains on online activities. The physical store could supplement the entire business plan by providing more customer touch points and experiences.

For example, several companies, such as Amazon, Apple, and Google, have entered the real retail space by constructing physical storefronts. They do so to improve customer experiences, promote products, provide support services, and broaden their market reach. In conclusion, an Internet company is defined by its emphasis on internet-based operations and its major reliance on digital channels to drive its core business

I hope this answers your query.