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RealTime IT News

Report: Video Apps to Boost E-Commerce Substantially

Videoconference and video-mail capabilities will give online shopping a powerful boost, according to Internet research firm ActivMedia's latest report, "The Evolving Online Consumer."

Based on a study of more than 5,800 online consumers, the report shows that virtually all product categories, even commodities, will build broader markets when consumers can confer with an on-screen sales representative willing to answer specific questions, direct attention to interesting product features, and guide consumers through the buying process.

However, the report said the availability of professional online shopping support will humanize online retailing but is less likely to provide sufficient encouragement to those most reluctant to use the technology: seniors and "computerphobes."

Offering a delivery service will be key.

ActivMedia's founder Jeanne Dietsch said: "As many stores disappear into cyberspace, the hulks of their physical predecessors will be strewn about the landscape. Not all will die. Those that transform themselves into companies designed to meet the new demand for door-to-door delivery will thrive in cyberspace especially with the newest Internet users because they tend to stick with the familiar.

"Experienced online consumers, however, investigate different sources and brands, particularly when seeking travel or unique services or products. Web sites that incorporate videoconferencing and other technology that engage the senses will dominate e-commerce in the years to come."

The report details online consumer's preferences by demographics, time online, purchasing behavior, and more.