Fifty-two leading electronic marketers generated an estimated $7.03 billion
in 1997, according to a new industry survey, which will be updated on a
Leading the pack were telecommunications and computer hardware marketers
Cisco Systems and Dell Computer, with $3.2 billion and $1.01 billion in
electronic sales respectively, according to Simba Information’s
Electronic Advertising & Marketplace Report newsletter.
Overall, business-to-business sales dominated the Web/online marketplace at
$6.02 billion, compared to sales for leading consumer Web retailers, which
totaled $999.2 million in 1997, the report estimated. Sales figures were
gleaned from interviews with company executives and estimates based on
category growth rates and trends.
Many companies experienced triple-digit growth rates, according to estimates.
Digital Equipment Corp.’s Internet sales grew 313% in 1997 to $950 million
from $230 million in 1996. In the fast-growing Web book sales market,
Amazon.com’s sales grew to an estimated $121.7 million in 1997, from $16.6
million in 1996.
Computer reseller NECX had $35 million in revenue last year. According to
Brian Marley, general manager of NECX Online, the company was generating
sales worth $5 million per month with consumers accounting for 70% of the
purchases. Getting people to actually execute an online buy remains a
problem, however, as only 2% of NECX visitors actually purchase a product,
Preview Travel was booking $3 million per day by the end of 1997, but the
company had revenue of approximately $12 million for the year, according to
newsletter estimates. It is the commission-based relationships between
airlines and hotels that has prevented online travel agents from enormous
revenue rather than any factors pertaining to the Web as a sales channel.
Online auctions have established themselves as a formidable retail channel.
Segment leader Onsale finished 1997 with approximately $75 million in
revenue. Through the first nine months of 1997, Onsale generated $56
million in revenue, up 833.3% from $6 million for the same period in 1996.
Online commerce has established itself as the primary catalyst for businesses
to come to the Web. While advertising revenue continues to increase, it has
become a secondary revenue stream for many Web publishers that have begun
By comparison, Web advertising revenue reached just approximately $600
million in 1997, the report said. Advertising is seen as a means of
acquiring quick revenue to cover expenses, while commerce is regarded as