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IntelliQuest Research Foresees Explosion in E-Commerce

IntelliQuest Information Group released a study indicating that consumers' e-commerce activity, attitudes and plans indicate the potential for a tripling of e-commerce activity in the coming 12 months.

The study says there is a "horse race" among many existing and emerging brands across consumer and technology product categories, with no clear leaders yet emerging.

The report is the initial product of IntelliQuest's new Ebranding syndicated marketing research service, which will provide senior executives, marketing managers and investors with benchmarking and trending information of competitive e-commerce brand positioning.

The Ebranding survey represents responses from more than 10,000 randomly recruited Internet users, quantifying their online shopping and buying habits, preferences and brand perceptions. Awareness levels were measured for more than 400 different branded sites and products, with side-by-side comparisons completed for 80 brands within nine market categories.

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said they intend to shop or buy online in the coming 12 months. Sixty-three percent have shopped, and 22 percent report buying online in the past 90 days.

IntelliQuest found in the study that "center of gravity" for category brand leadership varies greatly based on the maturity and complexity of the products and services. For instance, unaided awareness of places to shop for computers is greatest for hardware manufacturers such as Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard owing to the systems-centric nature of the marketplace and complexity of configuration options.

In book and music retailing, brand power is with the specialty distribution outlets such as Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. In the high-ticket and complex markets of automobiles and travel, online portals such as Yahoo! and America Online are the brands more frequently mentioned as the place where Internet users shop.

"Our Ebranding services will help our clients understand what models are working in building successful brands online," said Brian Sharples, president and CEO of IntelliQuest. "The data provide insights into the factors motivating consumers to buy, and what it takes to capture mind share and preference--critical success factors in the e-commerce brand wars."

Ebranding data from the initial survey in September/October 1998 are currently available on a subscription basis. Subsequent semi-annual research reports begin in February 1999.