Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The more things change ...

So today, everyone's out with their numbers on the Cyber Monday e-commerce shop-athon. Shopping.com, Akamai, NetRatings and comScore all have their various takes. Most of them rely on traffic numbers -- this many people visited sites, etc. It's strangely reminiscent of the earliest days of dot-com mania when traffic figures were used to do everything from justify a startup's existence to land it venture funding to clear the way for it to go public. Of course, traffic does matter. Closing sales matters more, naturally, but first you have to get them there.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Beyond the Delight-o-Meter

The forecasts have been made and now it's time to wait. Though reporters like us will try, it's a safe bet that there won't be any good, solid data on e-commere sales until after the holidays. We'll have to rely on traffic data from the likes of Nielsen/NetRatings and comScore. Or anectdotal evidence. Or reports of traffic loads from Keynote Systems and others. We can and probably will build strong circumstantial cases from all that third-party stuff, but the hard numbers will have to wait.

Amazon's Delight-o-Meter is a good example of the almost-information now available. It tells us how many items have been ordered from the site, but by itself that data is pretty useless. Of course, technology would make it possible, if not simple, for e-tailers to present running tallies of their sales. Analysts would no doubt love it, but stock investors might get a bit skittish. And then there's the competitive risks ... Still, a guy can dream.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and everything in between.

By now, double-digit sales growth is such old-hat to e-commerce that it hardly makes news any more. That doesn't stop those of us who make a living tracking the Web from trying to identify trends, however, as evidenced by my feature this morning on E-Commerce Times: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/6vSrwFieHsNlXG/Early-Signs-Point-to-Solid-Online-Shopping-Holiday.xhtml

The bottom line this year appears to be that more retailers are pushing the always-on nature of the Web as an alternative to waiting in line on Friday morning. That didn't stop thousands from waiting in the cold outside malls across the country, of course. http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=&ie=UTF-8&ncl=http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/25/news/economy/holiday_blackfriday/

The difference in just five years is stark. No one expects hundreds of orders not to reach their destinations this year, as happened in '00. But some themes remains the same: Can Amazon get profitable all the time? And can I really get an Xbox 360 by clicking on that flashing banner ad?

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

IPO Fever, Four Years Later

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