RealTime IT News

Report: Business-to-Consumer Sites to Spend $552 Million in 1998

ActivMedia Inc. said a new study shows that business-to-consumer Web sites, driven by the arrival of mainstream consumers, will spend more than half a billion dollars this year on multimedia attractions, transaction systems software and other services.

B-to-C Web businesses are thriving--half are profitable and most revenues come from product and service sales rather than advertising, the company said. But the market for these moneys is highly competitive. Those who gain advantage must not only have outstanding products but must understand who they are targeting.

Just over half of consumer Web sites are in traditional retail businesses (Books, Tapes and CDs, Sports, Hobby and Craft, Entertainment, Gifts, Toys, Apparel and Fashion, Personal Development, Food and Beverage, etc.). One in six are in Travel, one in five in Computer-related businesses, one in ten in Real Estate and one in twelve in Finance/Insurance, Web research firm ActivMedia said.

Said Chris Wheeler, director of information services for ActivMedia: "The difficulty for Web software and service providers is deciding where to focus their attentions. Even the largest companies can't be everything to everyone in this fast-changing market. Herding limited technical resources into the right activities is what everyone's trying to accomplish right now."

The report, entitled "Selling to Consumer Website Managers: A Marketer's Guide to Site Development Needs," helps companies to size various market segments and decide whether they want to focus on being technological leaders, vertical market specialists or generalists emphasizing convenience and value, ActivMedia said.

The study is available as a multi-user site license for $3,000 or $1,295 for a single copy. It details six market segments and 13 different product groups based on patterns of purchasing interest for 122 specific products and services.