We are very nearly there. 17.9m people already enjoy net access. The proliferation of e-commerce sites on the net also suggests that a critical mass is beginning to form. This year will see access to the Internet in the home become the norm rather than the exception and be a "festival" of e-commerce which will force traditional retailers to really sit up and take notice.
What is the best source of accurate statistics about Internet usage and e-commerce?
NOP surveys for general information, Fletcher Research for in-depth guidance and New Media Age for its aggregated information from a broad range of sources.
What is the best way of telling a good web site design agency from a bad one?
Check how much experience the agency has. It is a good idea to ask the agency to quote the URL of sites that they have already designed. Look at these sites online and perhaps talk to the companies concerned to see how effective the designs have been for them. A good agency will listen to you, understand your requirement and involve you in the design process to ensure the end result precisely meets your need.
Is it better to be part of a "shopping mall" with other retailers from complementary retail areas?
This all depends who you are. At this relatively early stage in e-commerce development, the big issues to be overcome with consumers are trust and security; so brand name is more important than anything else. Therefore if you are a brand name now you can probably go it alone, but if not you will probably be better off in a trusted "shopping mall". As a brand name of course, you could do both.
Should e-commerce be part of our marketing department or a stand-alone business unit?
E-commerce is transforming the way organisations do business and so must be fully integrated throughout the company. The marketing function is responsible for meeting customer needs, it must work with other... [continues]
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