OVERVIEW Click for June 22, 1998 issue

How the Internet Changes (Almost) Everything

Businesses are ahead of consumers in embracing the Internet. Even the slow-growing business markets are bigger than fast-growing consumer sectors.

BUSINESS PURCHASES:

EARLY ADOPTION


DURABLE GOODS: Led by makers of computers and other high-tech hardware, more than 43% of durable-goods manufacturers will conduct business-to-business commerce over the Internet by 2001, with sales reaching $99 billion, says Forrester Research.

WHOLESALING: Companies that wholesale office supplies, electronics goods, and scientific equipment are embracing the Net. Projected sales by 2001: $89 billion.

LATER ADOPTION


SERVICES: Doctors, lawyers, and accountants generally provide their services in person--one reason the sector will be slower to adopt E-commerce. Projected sales by 2001: $19 billion.

TRANSPORTATION: Most transportation companies are already committed to the alternative known as electronic data interchange (EDI), so Forrester says Internet sales by 2001 might be only $300 million.


CONSUMER PURCHASES:

EARLY ADOPTION


TRAVEL: Flyers are bedeviling agents by browsing the Internet for bargain fares. Sales in 2001: $7.4 billion.

COMPUTER HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE: It's an ideal sector for E-commerce. Buyers tend to be Net-savvy, and you don't need to sniff, squeeze, or try on the merchandise. Forrester projects 2001 sales of $3.8 billion.

BOOKS, MUSIC, AND ENTERTAINMENT: This is a sector where online purchases may raise total spending, not just cannibalize sales from brick-and-mortar merchants. Forrester's 2001 forecast is $3.8 billion.

LATER ADOPTION


HOUSING: The Internet is a great place to browse for houses, apartments, and mortgage loans, but transactions are still being done the old-fashioned way.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES: Supermarkets won't be closing their doors anytime soon. Forrester pegs 2001 sales at $460 million--less than for gifts, flowers, and greetings.

SERVICES: Telemedicine notwithstanding, health care is still a face-to-face business. Same goes for most other services--except computer updates and fixes, which are an online natural.

DATA: FORRESTER RESEARCH INC., BUSINESS WEEK



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TABLE: How the Internet Changes (Almost) Everything

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Security
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Online Merchants
Cyber Prices
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E-Cash?
Next: Smart Cards
Net Tax Commentary
Knowledge Management


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