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Vicky Nolan

The IGN Data Hub - Jan 27, 2000

27 January 2000

How to Keep the Customers Coming Back

Online customer relationship management tools are a big service, potentially growing from $3.7 billion in 1999 to an estimated $16.8 billion in 2003, according to AMR Research. In their quest to better serve current and future customers, online businesses will be adopting a variety of approaches, including: live interaction via phone and chat; asynchronous communications using e-mail and fax; and natural language computer services. In fact, many companies are making customer relationship management applications an integral part of their marketing strategies.

Forget Snail Mail, Just Deliver My Purchase By E-Mail

While it's easy to deliver software and music purchases over the Web, Forrester predicts that before long, games and videos will be delivered the same way. In fact, the firm suggests that by 2004, a quarter of all online purchases will be delivered digitally.

Of course, e-tailers that don't deliver online now are skeptical about its popularity, while those already using digital delivery methods see its popularity only growing. Researchers say that an increase in consumer broadband access will spur an interest in digital entertainment delivery.

E-Commerce Thrives in the U.K.

It's no surprise, but e-commerce is on the rise in the U.K., as well as other European nations, according to a recent Reuters article. Ten percent of U.K. cybershoppers actually made online purchases and that number is expected to triple by next year. Reuters quoted findings from Ernst & Young that showed Italy had a similar increase in Web commerce, while French e-commerce numbers doubled. Books, CDs, computers and accessory items were among the most popular items bought online. The majority of users were under 40, male, with high educational levels and an annual income of at least £30,000. Women are also hitting the Web in increasing numbers.

E-Commerce Thrives in Asia Too

During 1999, 10 million Internet users were logging on in Korea, according to an article in The Data came from two separate studies, one by Research and Research for the Ministry of Information and Communication and the National Computerization Agency, and another from I-Click. Among the most common online purchases were books. Another study found that Korean users logged on for e-mail, news, online chatting, games and entertainment.

In a related article, a study from the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council of Japan and Andersen Consulting said e-commerce is a hit in Japan. Research showed that there was a 420 percent increase in online B2C sales in 1999 over the previous year. Additionally, it's believed that the market will reach $42 billion by 2003 and $64 billion by 2004.

The Masses Migrate to Free Web Lotteries

According to a Washington Post article, even though the odds of winning are slimmer than meeting a real, live space alien, Americans are hitting the free lottery and jackpot sites in droves. Among the most popular of these sites are,, and These sites are offering top prizes ranging from $10,000 to $3 million. FreeLotto posts odds for winning their jackpot as being one in 25.5 million, and the site attracts 2.5 million players daily.

One potential problem exists for some customers who are playing while at the office: Rick Lane with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was quoted as saying, "Like all e-commerce issues, a lot of them haven't been addressed. But our position is that any and all information (transmitted on a company computer) is property of the company. Our advice is that those who are conducting private business ought to get their own Internet account."

Which Language Dominates the Internet?

According to, American English has conquered the online world. That fact alarms many people in other nations. Spanish-language sites are among the fastest growing categories, but they only account for less than 2 percent of online sites. Meanwhile, a growing movement called "Defense of the French Language" aims to keep French sites written in French. They're suggesting members and supporters should avoid sites that use English in an attempt to force French language usage. As for language problems, the article said that two Web-based tools, Babelfish and Transparent Language, which, while not perfect, help translate sites from one language to another. The article also says that Americans account for two-thirds of the people online, with Japanese users numbering about 7percent and Germans following at 5 percent.

The IGN Data Hub - Jan 27, 2000 is republished from
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan