B2C Sites Scramble to Add Customer-Oriented Features Before the Holiday Buying Rush, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MASS – SEPTEMBER 15, 2000 — With Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, not even two weeks behind us, business-to-consumer (B2C) Web sites are already vigorously working to add new customer-oriented features to their sites in time for the holiday buying season. IDC recently surveyed more than 100 B2C respondents on what features their sites have and which features they plan to add. According to the market intelligence firm, customer-touching features are a priority for the holiday rush.

"If the results of our survey are any indication, B2C sites are busily preparing to add customer-oriented features in an effort to win loyalty and avoid another round of negative publicity from unhappy customers," said Molly Upton, editor of eBusiness Trends, a weekly online newsletter published by IDC.

IDC's Internet Executive ePanel results revealed the percentage of B2C sites that offer interactive customer service will increase a spectacular 110% from 20% in the spring of 2000 to 41% by spring 2001. Special content/services for registered visitors will skyrocket even further. Less than 23% of B2C sites offer this capability in spring 2000, but almost 48% are planning to add it within months.

Online order tracking is another feature B2C sites are busy developing. The percentage of sites with this capability is expected to almost double from less than 22% to almost 40%.

"Undoubtedly, companies are rushing to add this capability so that they can avoid the fiasco of 1999, when many customers weren't made aware of late shipments," Upton said.

The above information comes from IDC's free online newsletter, eBusiness Trends. This weekly newsletter offers insight on the latest trends impacting B2B and B2C commerce and helps ensure subscribers are using the Internet to their company's maximum advantage. eBusiness Trends draws on extensive IDC research from a global and cross-industry viewpoint. IDC also publishes two other online newsletters, IT Forecaster and ASP Advisor. To register for your free subscriptions, visit http://www.idc.com/newsletters.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 600 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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