RealTime IT News

Intel Sees E-Commerce Boom in Europe

Intel Corp. reported that Europe is about to see a boom in computer sales and electronic commerce led by numerous small businesses selling everything from shoes to cuckoo clocks.

The company expects Western Europe's total online sales will shoot to $26 billion in 2001 from $3 billion this year, Intel Europe chief Rob Eckelmann said at the CeBIT trade fair, the world's biggest technology fair.

Driving this rise will be a rush to the Internet by small businesses, which make up 56% of Western Europe's economy, Eckelmann was quoted as saying by Reuters.

He cited an International Data Corp. survey that found 18% of companies in the eight major nations of Western Europe were trying to sell products over the Internet last year. But 39% planned to get into cyberspace this year.

As examples of the trend, Eckelmann cited Schuhhaus Eduard Meier, a German shoe retailer that has been in business since 1596 and now lets customers view video clips of how it makes shoes by hand and see available models in 3D images that can be turned and seen from all angles.

In Germany, Rombach und Haas has made cuckoo clocks for more than a century, but it needed to reach beyond its home markets when the weak German economy hurt sales in recent years. Now its Web site allows potential buyers from around the world to view its cuckoo clocks from all angles and hear their distinctive chimes before pointing and clicking their way to an online order.