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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Updated June 11, 1998 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1998, Bloomberg L.P.