Internet: 22July1999

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Internet Story: 22 July 1999

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In this issue:

Online Shopping to double!

Tough times for old media

Speed traps

Cellphones for Dummies


Online Shopping to double  It's not just hi-tech companies that are succeeding at e-commerce.  In a report (based on first quarter 1999 results from 328 online retailers) released yesterday by Boston Consulting Group, they estimate that online sales revenues for 1999 will be nearly 23 billion ($36b), up from 9 billion ($14b) for 1998 - more than double last year.

During 1998, pure Online retailers generated just 38% of sales on the Web, while "multi-channel retailers", companies that have brick-and-mortar stores or catalogue retailing businesses, accounted for 62% of revenue.

At the same time, the "old" companies appear to find it easier to get hold of their customers. Online companies spend on average $42 per customer, compared with $22 for retailers whose business predates the Internet.

Another reason why established companies are doing better may be the fact that shoppers trust them.

Mind you, we'll be lucky to see much increase in the UK.  Most bastions of old industry and politicians supposedly trying to create the e-commerce legislation can't even spell "Net", never mind understand it!

See Wired article.


Tough times for old media  New evidence is emerging in the US to show that the Net is becoming the worst nightmare of the bastions of old media, TV and Print.  Wired homes watch an average of 13% less TV -- roughly an hour a day -- than their non-wired counterparts, according to a recent study by Nielsen Media Research (commissioned by America Online).  

A recent Editor & Publisher survey found 33% of Web news consumers had reduced their reading of print newspapers since going online.  Another Editor & Publisher study of 53,000 newspaper Web site users revealed:
bullet35% are spending less time watching videos
bullet30% are making less use of the phone
bullet29% are watching less broadcast or cable television
bullet25% are listening less to radio

Is this a trend that will increase or a blip caused by the novelty of the Internet?  Only time will tell, but old media companies can't ignore this.


Speed Traps  Ever wonder how those metal grey boxes dotted around the Pendle roadsides work?  Have you ever wondered if they are loaded with film or whether they can see you approaching or leaving them?  Well go and check out all you ever need to know about Gatso Speed Traps.  To answer just one of those questions:  "According to Chief Inspector Phil Groves (ACPO), the ratio of live units to dummies in the UK in 1999 is 1 in 8.  In other words, when you tear past one of those grey boxes, there's a 1 in 8 chance that it's loaded."  So now you know.  Check out the rest of the UK site on speedtraps and see this site also - fascinating reading!


Cellphone for Dummies  But do you know how to program your cellphone?  If you have a Java enabled browser (e.g. IE4, IE5, NS4) then pop over to LiveManuals.  This site is the development of an Israeli company (e-SIM) that has created software to simulate several popular electronic devices.  The site is not officially "live" until later this year when they hope to have more than 300 products from 25 manufacturers available - including popular makes of VCR!  What a great idea - who ever reads or understands those multilanguage instruction books.  Far better to run through a simulation on screen.  Just two disadvantages - you will need to download their browser plugin (takes several minutes over a 56K modem); you need to understand how to surf the net first!  Whatever you do, don't use your mobile on an aircraft!


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999

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