EzineECMgt.com: Dec1999: Volume 1, Issue 11 - 1999 E-Commerce Recap

ECnow.com 1999 trends: Reflection on the e-commerce activities / events / developments of 1999 and how ECnow.com did on it's predictions for the year


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December 1, 1999 *2,800 subscribers* Volume 1, No. 11


Theme: 1999 E-Commerce Recap http://ecnow.com/top10trends1999.htm


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Reflection on the e-commerce activities / events / developments of 1999
and how ECnow.com did on it's predictions for the year

by Mitchell Levy
Executive Producer, ECMgt.com


At the end of the 20th century, ECnow.com can step back and take a look at its predictions for 1999. Of the ten trends, two didn't materialize, two partially occurred and six hit the mark. For the trends that missed, I believe the old adage applies, "we tend to overestimate what will happen in the short-term and underestimate what will happen in the long-term".

The top ten trends for 1999 which were predicted in December 1998 can be seen at this url: http://ecnow.com/top10trends1999.htm



Didn't MaterializePartially OccurredHit the Mark
#01 Non-monetary currency X 
#02 Value add begins after "click order"  X
#03 Outsourcing  X
#04 Executive FocusX  
#05 Access Speeds & Appliances  X
#06 Affinity Groups  X
#07 Price Transparency  X
#08 Shopping X 
#09 Non-US DominanceX  
#10 Show me the money  X

Of the predictions made, the surprises for 1999 were primarily what didn't happen or only partially happened (trends #01, #04 & #08). Also a surprise was the extent to which trend #06 took hold.

Regarding trend #01, it is surprising that the press has not spent more time and attention on privacy. This is a big concern that is here to stay for quite some time. The current solution proposed by industry are privacy statements that have been placed on Web sites. Truste is currently the leading organization validating these privacy statements (although three Truste sites were caught violating their privacy statement). It is the responsibility of the press to continue to push this mechanism for privacy and to illuminate their readership on the merits of looking for a privacy statement on every site they do business with.

Regarding trend #04, it is shocking that such a small percentage of executives have taken the charge of e-commerce within their companies. I'm not talking about executives who talk the talk. There are many of those. I'm referring to executives who walk the walk.

The final 1999 negative surprise, part of trend #08, is the inability of the industry to get wallets to stick. The ability to replicate the easy purchasing ability a consumer has in a retail store on the Web is something electronic wallets can provide. The companies that are well positioned to bring wallets to the forefront are the portals who can also guarantee purchases and security of the technology. Although Amazon (with Zshops) and Yahoo (with the Yahoo Store) have created a universal wallet for stores that use their technology, these wallets are not open and applicable across all public sites. The next step is for some of the portal and/or financial companies to adopt an open-standards based wallet technology and guarantee its use across all sites.

The positive 1999 surprise was trend #06. The net market maker craze has hit full steam. Within almost every industry there are one or more dot.com company trying to redefine the rules by which the industry plays. This infancy industry is expected to have dramatic growth in the next couple of years. According to Bear Stearns, there was USD $10B in trade via Net markets in 1998, with that number expected to grow to USD $438B by 2003. A current yardstick of the space is the Net Market Makers conference which debuted in May 1999 to a surprising 350 attendees. The November 1999 conference stopped accepting registrants at 750 and ended up with a 350 person wait list.

Although trend #09 didn't occur, we've seen a number of foreign companies make in-roads in e-commerce and a number of governments push for universal access to its population. Imagine the potential for a country, like Singapore, when all of its residents are on-line with aDSL access speeds.

Trends number #02, #03, #05, #06, #07, #10 all hit the mark. We've seen companies spend a lot more attention or what occurs after the consumer hits the buy button (e.g. fulfillment and customer service). We've seen a rise in the use of outsourcing and a continued push in the arena of increased access speeds and appliances connected to the net. We've also seen the effects of price transparency in a number of industries with the customer being the happy recipient of this information. Finally, we've seen a number of companies make their mark by showing significant revenue or cost reduction numbers by incorporating the Internet into how they conduct business.

Key trends which were not predicted that we've seen include the following:

  1. Customer is king
  2. The continued flow of venture capital leading to a new exit strategy
  3. The creation of e-commerce venture capital funds
  4. The continued desire for "open" with XML, OBI and Linux
  5. The spread of auctions from a consumer tool to a business tool

For this month and next, we have comments from key e-commerce luminaries. In addition to traditional avenues for gathering this information (e-mail, phone), I interviewed luminaries at two key industry conferences. These were CommerceNet99 and the Net Market Maker conference:


Let me leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes this month:


Source: Mark Rhoney, President, ec.UPS.com


Source: Chris Davis, VP, Consulting & Systems Integration, CSC


Source: Dr. Gregory Alan Bolcer, CEO/Founder, Endeavors Technology


Source: Stacey Bressler, E-Commerce Strategy and Marketing Consultant


Source: Bill Ryan, Partner, Niehaus Ryan Wong


I hope you enjoy this eZine.

See you in cyberspace,

Mitchell Levy

President, ECnow.com <http://ecnow.com>
Publisher, ECMgt.com <http://ECMgt.com>
Coordinator, SJSU-PD ECM Certificate Program <http://ecmtraining.com/sjsu>




WorkWorld Technical Career EXPO Wednesday - December 8, 1999

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For more info, visit http://www.workworld.com



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Silicon Valley AIP

The Silicon Valley WebGuild (The Silicon Valley Chapter of the Association Of Internet Professionals) presents The 2nd Annual "Home Page for the Holidays" Web Awards which is a contest for Web sites that incorporate a seasonal theme. The 1997 Web Awards received 500+ submissions from all over the world, high-profile sponsors, press coverage and thousands of visitors. Our event was featured by Yahoo!, ZDNet, CNet, etc.

Check out: http://www.webguild.org/holiday




1999 - The Year of the Penguin

by Hans Cathcart
President of the Silicon Valley chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals
Internet and Linux consultant for RealStrategy.com
November 30, 1999


It has come to dominate the American cultural landscape, fascinating, intriguing and addicting all who cross its path. A phenomenon so powerful, so sudden, that only the true insiders could have predicted this craze. But even now, as millions of adults will open their e-wallets this holiday season and buy a selection of products from this one brand, every single parent is asking themselves: "What's the deal with Pokémon?"

For the educated, I'm referring, of course, to the seven and eight year-olds, it's completely apparent: "My Pikachu can easily win against your Clefairy, even if your Raichu is an evolved Pokémon ... Dad!" And so it goes: the kids understand everything, the parents are confused, and the green-backs are on-route to the Pokémon empire.


Quite frankly, this must be the way most people feel about the E-industries and dot.com corporations that are today transforming America's economic landscape. Most of us, however, are as attuned to today's e-commerce trends as our kids are to the intricacies of the Pokémon card game. In essence, there is very little difference between our focus on e-commerce, our kids' attention on Pokémon, and the technical world's fascination with, say, Linux.

Linux is, of course, the open-source operating system that is poised to challenge the great Microsoft monopoly in the coming years for dominance of the server and desktop operating system market.

What does Linux have to do with e-commerce?

Well, Mitchell Levy asked me to share, with you, my views on the apparent rapid rise of Linux during 1999. Mitchell didn't predict Linux as a top trend in last years' "Top-10 e-commerce Predictions for 1999." "I told you so," could have been my response, but I don't think Mitchell missed Linux at all.

Linux has about as much relevance to e-commerce as Pokémon. Mind you that this holiday season will probably see the Pokémon brand as one of the most purchased brands over the web. Similarly, Linux and other open-source software products, such as the successful Apache Web server, will probably be the corner-stone of over 50 percent of all e-commerce transactions on the web this winter. But, fundamentally they are only tools to make e-commerce happen.

Open Source software, of which Linux and Apache are both children, is a type of software-license. It is often referred to as a 'copyleft' since the source code or computer instructions of any Open Source software product must always be made freely available along with the right for any person to improve, modify or change the product freely.

This idea, combined with the possibilities of the Internet, has sparked a flame in the software development community, and is now spreading into all adjoining industries such as e-commerce. Open Source software, has, for instance, allowed many e-commerce businesses to cheaply build and operate extensive e-commerce web sites, which has inevitably reduced product prices. What this shows is that the fate and future of a particular industry, such as our favorite 'e' depends to a great deal on trends and developments in areas seemingly unrelated.

Mitchell didn't see Linux because he wasn't looking at the geeky UNIX developer world. Parents didn't see Pokémon coming because they didn't pay attention to the Japanese entertainment market. Many years ago, Microsoft didn't think the Internet was important.

As with all predictions, they look better with 20/20 hindsight, so I will end with some thoughts I wrote down a year ago ... my predictions for 1999, if you will:


Comments From Our Readers and Key E-Commerce Luminaries

Our bulletin board allows readers to comment on trends and issues throughout the month. Please stop by to add your comments and see all the responses at http://ecmgt.com/bulletinboard.htm

Question of the Month

The topic for December focuses on the most significant e-commerce activities / events / developments of 1999

Selected Answers of the Month


  1. Abundant venture capitalist funding of new e-commerce business models for B-to-B and B-to-C
  2. Analysts pay attention to the inadequacy of existing supply chains to handle the demands of e-business (returns processing, fulfillment, order visibility)
  3. No market validation / limited consumer acceptance to date for any e-commerce home grocery delivery model
  4. Convergence of voice, video and data networks; mergers and acquisitions in the telecommunications industry to provide integrated services
  5. Deployment of Internet-based procurement systems to streamline purchases of MRO goods
  6. End of the “brochure-ware” era of Websites; most significant Websites are now transaction-capable
  7. Evolution of first generation Internet portals into market aggregator / marketplace business models
  8. Adoption of Intranet Portals by companies to aggregate services such as employee benefits, news, etc.
  9. Internet stock brokerage firms gain momentum to the point that the largest traditional broker is forced to launch Internet trading
  10. Passage of the Financial Services Competitive Enhancement Act to promote innovation and new business models in the financial services industry

Source: Mark Rhoney, President, ec.UPS.com


  1. Web Procurement gets a good start
  2. Jack Welsh Makes eCommerce Priority Numbers 1, 2, 3 & 4
  3. B-to-B Exchanges Get Going
  4. Infrastructure IPO's - Sycamore, Akamai
  5. Shaheen leaves Andersen Consulting for WebVan

Source: Chris Davis, VP, Consulting & Systems Integration, CSC


  1. Internet tax freedom act
  2. Palm VII, Palm Vx, wireless handheld, Palm competitors
  3. Wireless/Digital PCS Internet Access Rollout
  4. Corporate investment / company-based VC funds – Oracle, Sun, Dell, Novell
  5. Apache http server & derivatives reach over 66% of market
  6. Mass popularization of online trading and universal access to historical data
  7. Application service providers, corporate portals, total service providers

Source: Dr. Gregory Alan Bolcer, CEO/Founder, Endeavors Technology


Source: Bahar Gidwani, CEO, indexstock.com


  1. The inclusion of NASDAQ stocks into the Dow Jones Industrial Avg. This is THE stamp of legitimacy for an exchange dominated by "dot.coms."
  2. The birth of Market Makers as a recognized and potentially dominant force. Early leaders such as TradeEx and Chemdex will continue to lead the way.
  3. The impact of the "dot.coms" on the financial health of the US; no one can call e-commerce a fad anymore. The climb of the NASDAQ to nearly 3400 is part of this phenomenon.
  4. The ruling against Microsoft. No matter what the ultimate outcome, this is a big development.
  5. The quiet but exploding growth of Linux. It may take years before we realize how significant this is.

Source: Stacey Bressler, E-Commerce Strategy and Marketing Consultant


  1. Public awareness of doing business on the Internet as well as corporate awareness of the advantage of b-to-b e-commerce.
  2. The proliferation of companies that are now offering e-commerce.
  3. The marriage of brick-and-mortar companies with e-commerce capabilities. For instance, I can order an electronic product, such as a VCR, online from the "Good Guys" and if I have a problem or need to return it, I can simply go to my nearest store rather than ship it back to the factory.

Source: Bill McLain, Webmaster, Xerox


  1. Undoubtedly, the highlight for 1999, was the rising star of CommerceOne and Ariba with regards to indirect procurement For 2000, expect those players to now move towards direct procurement and vertical marketplaces.
  2. The lowlight, was the lack of understanding on the behalf of ERP vendors on the impact the Internet would have on their businesses, with the exception of Oracle.

Source: Scott Latham, AMR Research, Senior Analyst, E-Business


  1. The entrance of Amazon, Yahoo, AOL into areas that they had no legacy experience with (ie auctions)
  2. The purchase of traditional businesses such as Sotheby with Internet stock
  3. The realization of the investment and start-up community as to the size and desirability of the B-to-B space
  4. The shortened "bear market" IPO cycle
  5. The development of XML as a standard for commerce
  6. The fact that companies like EBay can make money

Source: Peter M.Ostrow, President and CEO, TestMart


  1. "Dot Com Fever" - As the 7th dog food vendor made it's way on to the dot.com scene, one could finally rest assured that the Internet had crossed the Chasm. With Stanford and Harvard MBAs flooding the valley, there has been a flurry of similar business models hitting the Internet in 1999. The Internet has become a channel for traditional business models, such as the pet and clothing stores.
  2. "Customer as King" - This year has seen the growth of the interdependency between companies and their customers. The old battle that was waged on product differentiation and product pricing has been by-passed. Now, the battle is for who knows the customer best. Companies like Vignette and Personify have come to market with products that help companies better interact with their customers based on the ability to track, manage and analyze customer behavior.
  3. "Everything Old is New Again" - Centralized computing is back again, only it's called outsourcing now. Through the explosion of outsourcing and ASPs, companies are now able to get out of the technology business and back into their business. They can focus on running their businesses without having to worry about the IT piece. This is one of the single greatest shifts in business models – from the client-server approach to the outsourcing approach.

Source: Bill Ryan, Partner, Niehaus Ryan Wong


Source: Brad Peppard, Marketing Consultant


  1. The focus on CRM in e-commerce
  2. The realization that if you don't have an e-commerce model for your company, your chances for surviving the next decade are slim

(T.S., Santa Cruz, California, USA)


(F.S., Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA)



(C.M., Massachusetts, USA)


(J.E., Dallas, Texas, USA)



(HR, Lake Ariel, Pa. Wayne co., USA)


(G.D., Vancouver, CANADA)


  1. Consumers are embracing this style of purchasing
  2. E-Credit - companies are developing ways for their consumers to purchase products using online "credit card-style" methods.

(S.C., San Jose, California, USA)


  1. The change in the nature of e-commerce itself
  2. On-line auctions explode
  3. Ongoing debates in government bodies concerning regulation of e-commerce

(R.R, Mountain View, California USA)


(M.S., Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA)


  1. Became popular all over the world
  2. Doing a middle level transaction on the net.
  3. Trade issue is the hot issue in the year 1999.



  1. Ford's announcement of purchasing site
  2. Digital TV goes live in UK with easy shopping functions
  3. mySAP

(S.L., Copenhagen, DENMARK)


(R.H., Bochum, GERMANY)


(P.S., St. Paul, Minneapolis, USA)


  1. The media finally woke up to the fact that B-to-B is in fact better suited to the efficiencies and global reach of the Internet and has already eclipsed the more glamorous B-to-C side
  2. Megabrands across the world have seen the B-to-B light and abandoned their half-assed attempts at brochureware and finally committed implementation of comprehensive e-commerce solutions. The leap of faith this required was great, but they have finally overcome their fear of the unknown and realized that the future is here and if they are not up to speed they will see major market share erosion.

(T.F., Stamford, CT, USA)


(M.P., San Jose, California, USA)


  1. Web-van.com and the other local delivery services
  2. The successful implementation of b-to-b systems in major industries
  3. The absence of Credit card number theft stories in the media.

(D.S., Pleasanton, California, USA)


(J.G., Tracy, California USA)


  1. Surprising market valuations for money losing businesses
  2. Portal, portal, portal
  3. One stop auctions for body parts

(G.T., San Carlos, California, USA)


  1. The jump in usage of the web
  2. Entrepreneurial web sites
  3. Shopping capabilities

(C.S., San Jose, California, USA)


(C.L., Săo Paulo, BRAZIL)


  1. Huge expansion of competitors
  2. Huge advertising dollars spent in traditional media on dot.coms
  3. Extraordinary sales growth combined by an astounding lack of profitably.

(M.S., Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)


  1. Growth of Net Markets
  2. Doubling of e-commerce market cap in two week period during November to well over $50 billion. (It was just over $200 million at the beginning of the year!)

(F.S., Milpitas, California, USA)


(S.Y., Santa Clara, California, USA)


  1. Intra-company purchases and tracking
  2. Acceptance of secure transactions

(J.K., Palo Alto, California, USA)




(S.C., San Jose, California, USA)




  1. More software solutions readily available to enable B-to-B e-commerce.
  2. Security risks well addressed on the consumer side, enabling a wide spread use of on line buying.
  3. More every day things for the masses to buy eg. ebay and Amazon offerings.

(R.R., Santa Clara, California, USA)


  1. The focus of many netreprenuers has shifted from on-line business to how fast they can go for public listing (IPO) and how much capital gain they can derived from it.
  2. On-line Bidding (or On-line Gambling?) where one can indicate the merchandise and quantity one wants to purchase, the brands one willing to accept and the price one willing to pay. Once the bids have been accepted, one may print out the list and take it to any participating store and retrieve the merchandise ---- saves a lot of money.





This section sponsored by - ECnow.com, please visit them at http://www.ecnow.com


The next e-commerce hurdle
Research from various sources indicates that once the on-line buying experience becomes too cumbersome and slow, would-be customers log off. And, since there are already enough obstacles presenting themselves to e-tailers, slow access is the last thing they need.

A Challenge for Pure-Play Internet Companies
Internet pure-play competitors face a major challenge from more traditional companies that implement multi-channel e-business

The e-commerce jungle
While visiting a friend, Sean discovered this strange looking application bar hovering over the browser, displaying the new Diamond Rio 500 MP3 player on Amazon.com. The product name appeared on the bar with a price, and the price kept getting lower! The app searched the web for lowest price then gave a link to buy. E-commerce will never be the same.

Can clicks live without bricks?
E-commerce is clearly a media favorite at the moment, occupying significant space in most major newspapers and magazines, but most people are still shopping the old-fashioned way.

The friendly face of e-shopping
What with all the e-commerce this gift-giving season, there's a big need for customer service e-reps. Several companies aim to make it easier to buy, buy, buy.

Mixed reports on small biz e-commerce
With major U.S. companies rushing headlong into the world of e-commerce, are small businesses getting left behind? The answer depends upon which statistics are considered.

Time is now for mid-size b-to-b firms
Despite the fact that media attention to the explosive growth of e-commerce has largely focused upon the new synergy between consumers and e-tailers, the real success stories may be in the business-to-business sector.

Market makers come on strong
Business-to-business e-commerce is booming. In a recent report, market researcher Dataquest predicted that a new breed of what it calls "e-market makers" will transform how business gets done in a host of industries.

E-commerce ban stuns mall stores
The Saint Louis Galleria informed its 170 retail tenants in a letter last week of a new policy prohibiting any in-store "signs, insignias, decals or other advertising or display devices which promote and encourage the purchase of merchandise via e-commerce."

Report 19 million Americans to spend $7.8 billion on-line for holidays
A new industry report estimates that 19.4 million Americans will shop on-line this holiday season, representing 28 percent of on-line adults, or 10 percent of all U.S. adults.

Shopping on-line but buying offline
Internet shoppers are three times more likely to buy items offline than on-line when browsing for items on the Internet. The fact that people are shopping on-line but buying offline has a slew of implications for advertising strategy.

1999 holiday sales will bricks or clicks win?
With Halloween behind us, holiday shopping is about to break. Marketing managers at e-tailers around the world are wringing their hands and watching their click-throughs. Careers across hundreds of e-tailers may hang in the balance.

E-gift certificates set to become common currency
With Jupiter Communications forecasting that overall gift giving will grow from $336 million US$ this year to over $1.4 billion in 2002, the cyber gift certificate is poised to become all the rage.

Survey finds on-line shopping firms fail to deliver
Just like their brick-and-mortar competitors, many on-line retailers fail to deliver on their promises, according to a survey of on-line shopping sites released this week.

All they want before Christmas is a working web site
While some retailers are working around the clock to open their sites in time for the second meaningful Internet shopping season, others will miss out.

Web site development costs
Many companies developing Web sites seem to see all development costs as one thing -- that is "web site development costs." However, Web sites include a wide variety of costs that must be identified and accounted for separately.

E-Commerce catching on with web's newbies
Internet users with less than six months experience on the Net are more confident about shopping on-line for the holidays this year, according to a survey by NPD On-line Research.

Will e-commerce leave computers behind?
Do we even need a computer to be involved when we access the Internet?

The REI path
Most merchants have had to adjust to the web, but a lucky few have found the web supercharges what they'd been doing anyway. Dell and Cisco have found this to be true. Dell was building PCs to order for a decade before the web was spun, and Cisco was selling routers long before the Internet made demand explode. Adding and nurturing the Internet channel were natural moves, and benefits were enormous. There's a company like that in the retail space as well, REI.

Teaching your elephant to morph
Intelligence, Webster's tells us, is "the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge." What do Amazon.com,Peapod, Dell Computer (the PC manufacturer) and FreeMarkets, Federal Express, Barnes & Noble?

Levi's to back off Net sales after holidays
Levi Strauss is stepping away from direct e-commerce sales after the holidays to focus more on its consumers and retail partnerships, the company said.

Vitamins, toys top picks for web shoppers
With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Internet retailers offering vitamins or toys, as well as on-line malls, have enjoyed the biggest gains in traffic, according to a report released yesterday.

Resistance to on-line clothes shopping
Nearly half the Internet users in a recent survey said they never planned to buy clothing on-line. Consumers' reservations about buying apparel on-line have been difficult to overcome.



Letters to Santa are no longer necessary
Wishlist.com, Wishclick.com and OhIWish.com have joined other e-commerce start-ups in the cluttered field of on-line gift registries, where people post lists of their preferred gifts.

Digital payments come of age
It will take some time before digital currency takes over and we become a "cash-less" society, but the groundwork is already being laid and the technology has matured enough for widespread use.

C/Base delivers pre-paid personal spending technology
E-commerce technology company C/Base said it has developed a new Web technology that "combines the convenience and manageability of credit cards with the freedom and privacy of cash."

Four airlines plan joint travel site
Four of the five largest U.S. airlines are banding together to start a multi-airline travel Web site, in the face of growing competition from Internet companies.

Citibank launches on-line shopping tool for consumers
Financial giant Citibank launched ClickCredit, a separate line of credit for consumers designed to be used exclusively for on-line purchases.

Testing Furniture.com Does the cyber service revolution have legs?
Business Week went to Furniture.com to see if e-merchants are ready for the holiday onslaught. Unfortunately, fancy new software isn't enough to solve the Web's customer service problems.

Do luxury retailers get e-commerce?
According to a new report by Forrester Research, Inc., luxury brick-and-mortar retailers such as Neiman Marcus are approaching e-commerce with a bargain basement mentality.

Commerce exchange uets 'Xpert' upgrades
The Sun-Netscape Alliance has upgraded two of its Commerce Exchange family of applications, ECXpert and Trading Xpert, for more automated, business-to-business transactions.

The web way or the highway
General Motors Corp. said Friday that it would move all of its US$87 billion in annual purchases to its new e-commerce Web site within about two years and would pressure its suppliers to follow suit.

Blinded by the e-commerce gold rush
It seems that the Internet Gold Rush has fostered the same kind of hysteria that its 19th century counterpart did. But those who think that the Internet has leveled the playing field so that anyone with a modem, an idea and a Web site can just show up and compete with the corporate giants is sorely mistaken.

Hotelguide.com launches largest hotel directory on the Internet
Hotelguide.com has launched a site that is now the largest hotel directory on the Internet, with over 60,000 hotels in 200 countries. The site offers on-line booking and detailed free information on a wide selection of hotels, including maps on how to get there and colorful photos.

icollector plc launches highest insurance coverage for e-commerce transactions
icollector plc, launches the highest insurance cover for e-commerce transactions on the Internet, designed specifically to protect customers of the icollector site. iGuarantee covers items purchased through icollector for up to $50,000 with an additional $500 for shipping costs.

Amazon pops into consumer reviews with zBubbles
Amazon has quietly entered the red-hot arena of consumer product reviews with a new software application called zBubbles.



Consumer Reports to issue e-commerce report cards
Consumer Reports On-line is expected to announce Monday that it will begin providing regular Web site evaluations, just as it has for decades in the brick-and-mortar world.

Ernst & Young debuts e-commerce trust community
Recognizing e-businesses' concerns about privacy and security, professional services firm Ernst & Young has launched the Center for Trust On-line

IBM opens e-business centers
IBM Global Services Monday launched a chain of e-business innovation centers -- brick-and-mortar facilities designed to offer e-business customers a one-stop area for working on both front-end and back-end technology for their sites.

Secret shopper service launches
BuyerTouch, an e-commerce "secret shopper" and customer satisfaction analysis company, launched a service that it said will enable e-commerce companies to understand their customers' shopping experiences.

To bot or not to bot
Customers like the convenience of on-line shopping, but they're still stumbling through the world's largest mall. It's no surprise then that they're increasingly taking to the shop-by-bot concept.

Letting technology do the shopping
Using a combination of new technologies, a growing number of e-commerce companies can monitor their customers' shopping habits like never before. And beyond just collecting information for targeted advertising, software programs can actively steer shoppers from one purchase to another--even when there is no obvious connection.

New bots a shopper's best friend
With the new shopping bots you don't need to go to their sites to find a better price or more favorable shipping. Instead, their bots accompany you around the Net and suggest alternatives when you're ready to buy.

Shopping bots Intelligent at last?
New technology will let users check competing prices -- complete with shipping, taxes and any duties -- at the click of a button.

No customer service looks expensive for Net firms
E-commerce companies may want to pay more attention to satisfying existing customers and worry less about acquiring new ones, a study shows.

Customer service worries on-line shoppers
Consumers expect to save money by making purchases on-line this holiday season, but delivery and customer service hold the key to keeping e-consumers happy, according to reports by E-BuyersGuide.com and Datamonitor. Or do they?

Nike lets customers personalize shoes on-line
So you want to be like Mike? Even potato couches can now have their very own personalized athletic shoe thanks to Nike's new NIKEiD service.



Teen shoppers trust parents, peers, more than web
Teen shoppers, despite their high degree of Internet savvy, rely more on their parents, peers and traditional media than on advertising and on-line sources for purchase advice, according to a study by the Ketchum public relations firm.

What keeps customers on-line?
On-line retailers must focus on people, not on technology.

BBB posts draft of new code of on-line business practices
The Better Business Bureau system released a draft of its new Code of On-line Business Practices and began seeking public comment on the code.

Watch their eyes
You can't automate a human process and expect a positive result. Your average e-commerce site says it's customer-centric, but watch their eyes.

Portrait of the web's shoppers
New research finds more women, older Americans and first-time e-shoppers are buying over the Web.

Group aims to tackle ad standards
Eleven companies are launching an industry group to address a variety of industry trouble spots, ranging from audience measurement to privacy.

What's your buddy's e-mail worth?
One e-commerce startup is offering a $5 discount for every e-mail address you provide.

How women buy, and why
New research that classifies and categorizes women aims to understand what makes them click, stop, and shop.

What do on-line customers really want?
As the battle for Web survival intensifies, e-tailers are finding it increasingly necessary to ask themselves a most fundamental question What do on-line customers really want? It is a tough question to answer, but a picture of what it takes to attract an on-line customer is beginning to emerge.

BizRate.com adds 1,200 merchants to program in six months
E-commerce ratings site BizRate.com said it has added 1,200 merchant sites in the past six months and now has exclusive real-time access to more than 60 percent of all customers making on-line retail transactions.

Net marketers to develop user data standards
Internet marketers should move a step closer to knowing just about everything about everybody in cyberspace, when nearly 25 makers of Internet marketing, tracking and analysis applications announce they are building a standard way to create, store and exchange data on Web users.

Not all Internet surveys are created equal
Just as ancient ships were misguided to a rocky death, the seductive siren song of Internet research can muddy the waters of e-commerce.

Consumers ready to embrace net commerce and marketing
The Internet has changed the shopping habits of a majority of consumers who use it, according to a survey focused on marketing issues by @dtech and Talk City.

Advocates call for halt to on-line profiling
Should companies be banned from sending cookies and otherwise tracking on-line usage information?

On-line companies squander public’s trust
Although the future of on-line commerce will rely on credibility, companies continue to squander the public's trust. The Web has not adopted the kinds of standards and practices that are assumed in traditional media.

Can you trust TRUSTe?
With three licensees in six months under fire for privacy violations, nonprofit privacy initiative TRUSTe is facing doubts about its ability to protect consumers' privacy on-line.

Privacy does anyone really care?
Experienced Internet shoppers know that Web sites collect personal data on them to build customer profiles, including information that they don't deliberately submit, such as where they click and the route they take to travel through the site. It doesn't bother them much.

Privacy plan tied to XML
A group of vendors is pushing CPEX, a proposed XML standard, as a way for companies to share information about consumers--while letting consumers themselves control that information.

Launching an e-mail component
Imagine that you're at your favorite on-line cheesecake store. You find what you're looking for, add it to your shopping cart and click "buy." As you fill out the on-line order form, you're asked to check off your favorites on a list of 25 cheesecake flavors, "so we may better serve you..." You sign up because you love a good special and want to be informed of the latest in the world of cheesecake. And so it's done. You've opted in.

Affiliate programs do they work for B-to-B?
What exactly is an affiliate program? While the particulars change based on who is offering it and how it operates, the basic definition is the same An affiliate program is a revenue-sharing plan that uses the Internet to facilitate partnered selling. The affiliate concept is uncomplicated and easy for both parties, making it possible for everybody to be a winner.


This section sponsored by - CONNECTINC.COM, please visit them at http://www.connectinc.com

U.S. Postal Service set to aid on-line returns
The U.S. Postal Service will announce that it has created a service to let Internet shoppers return merchandise without facing much of the inconvenience involved in on-line returns.

Delivering the goods no simple solution
E-Commerce is like comedy. Coming up with ideas is easy; delivery is hard. If the explosion in on-line shopping had taken place in 1959 instead of 1999, getting packages delivered might have been easier. In 1959, many homes still had milk boxes.

So easy to buy, such a struggle to return
While hauling merchandise back to the store after the holidays is an inconvenience, digging up receipts, finding addresses and boxing up items to ship back to an Internet retailer thousands of miles away can be an off-the-charts hassle, so much so that many shoppers simply do not return items they bought on-line.


Ezyfind sells the local market
Ezyfind, an Australian city-guide, will launch a service in the United States Monday, linking up with local media to create portals for small metropolitan areas.

Neighborhood Stores Find Internet Venue
eTreats.com has launched as an e-commerce site offering access to a network of small neighborhood shops from around the United States that provide hand-crafted confections, candies, gourmet items and fruit baskets.



E-Taxes States and Counties Say "Ring 'Em Up"
The Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce -- a.k.a., the Internet tax commission -- is out of money and out of friends. Pretty soon, it may be out a mandate.

A Taxing dilemma for the EU
Europe is not ready for a permanent moratorium on Internet tariffs, although it doesn't mind extending a temporary ban. Or so say government officials attending the Transatlantic Business Dialogue in Berlin.

Asian Web Users Shop More at Overseas Sites
On-line shoppers in Asia are buying more goods from overseas sites than before, although they still prefer to buy from local Web sites by a factor of two to one.

U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passes global tax bill
In a vote of 423 to 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late last week to prevent the imposition of sales taxes on global Internet sales.

U.S. to fight e-commerce trade barriers
The U.S. government will vigorously oppose the erection of barriers that would unduly restrict global electronic commerce, the deputy U.S. trade representative said Monday.

E-commerce patent rights now a global issue
In a decision with global implications, a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia recently removed a major obstacle to the development of secure electronic commerce.

E-signature bill passes Senate
The U.S. Senate passed the Millennium Digital Commerce Act Friday, following in the footsteps of the House of Representatives, which recently passed a similar measure to make electronic signatures legally binding.

Global e-commerce picking up steam
Many American Internet users still perceive life with borders. However, countries of all stripes are gearing up their own electronic commerce operations, and it may soon be commonplace for Americans to shop for products from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and perhaps even Russia.

Web wine the grape debate
Arcane direct shipping laws are creating havoc among wineries that conduct business on-line, their customers, plus state and federal governments.




CMGI Launches B2B Fund
Internet conglomerate CMGI is looking to capitalize on the riches being created by business-to-business electronic commerce companies by launching a venture capital fund focused on the market. CMGI announced this week that it will pump as much as $1 billion into a new @Ventures B2B Fund.

eBay buys stake in surplus site
eBay Inc., which has persuaded millions of Americans to trade everything from Beanie Babies to high-school yearbooks on-line, now is betting that U.S. corporations are eager to sell their odds and ends over the Internet, too.

American Express announces portal plans
American Express announced Monday that it will join the race to become a leading portal for companies that are looking to purchase their supplies and operating resources over the Web.

HP reaches out to new partners to build revenue stream
Hewlett-Packard Co. hopes to cash in on an innovative way to increase its roster of partners while building new revenue streams trading hardware and software for a cut of the revenues ofor stakes inthose Internet companies

Goto.com acquires e-commerce company Cadabra
Ad-linked search engine company GoTo.com said it will acquire Cadabra Inc., an Internet-based provider of comparison-shopping services, for $250 million comprised of $8 million in cash and the balance in GoTo stock.

Juno to Promote eBay on Its New Shopping Service
On-line trading community eBay Inc. signed a deal with Juno On-line Services Inc. to be the exclusive provider of on-line trading services on JunoLand, Juno's on-line community site, and on Shop@Juno, the company's new on-line shopping channel.

VerticalNet to acquire NECX
VerticalNet Inc. said Tuesday it reached an agreement to acquire NECX Exchange LLC, a business-to-business electronics marketplace for the spot market and open market.

Amazon backing boosts E.piphany's stock
Shares of E.piphany, a maker of software that analyzes data collected from Web sites, rose as much as 35 percent after No. 1Internet retailer Amazon.com said it will use the software.

Pet sites bark up the Net tree
A dogfight is brewing in the on-line pet industry, with four big players announcing multimillion-dollar investments and prime-time partnerships.




She's Weaving Web Policy from the West Wing
The new White House e-commerce adviser, Elizabeth Echols, must find a balance between privacy and consumer protections and the need to nurture e-businesses.

Study Net shoppers fill baskets with toys
On-line shoppers spent about $200 million last week, and toys are emerging as a hot item as the holidays approach, according to a survey by research firm PC Data On-line.

Amazon ushers in the era of e-department stores
Leading on-line retailer Amazon.com has taken a giant step away from its original incarnation as an on-line bookseller by announcing the launch of home improvement, software, video game and gift idea stores.

Amazon believers and critics have their say
Investors responding to the "Great Amazon Debate" offer thought-provoking arguments about the giant e-tailer's future.



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