Looking ahead to 2000

The time has come to say goodbye to 1999 and hello to 2000. Though some would argue the new millennium doesn't officially begin until 2001, next year will still be a significant milestone. The Y2K bug problems taking up so much time and effort these days have seen to that.Y2K fears aside, the new year brings with it a great deal of promise, especially in the technology sector.

12/01/1999


The time has come to say goodbye to 1999 and hello to 2000. Though some would argue the new millennium doesn't officially begin until 2001, next year will still be a significant milestone. The Y2K bug problems taking up so much time and effort these days have seen to that.

Y2K fears aside, the new year brings with it a great deal of promise, especially in the technology sector.

The world at your desktop

According to a recent report from Global Reach (Los Angeles, Calif.), a company that specializes in international strategies for online businesses, global Internet access will likely grow by about 50%—from 215 million users worldwide to 327 million—in the year 2000. Of this 327 million, it's predicted that 167 million will be from non-English-speaking countries. This is greater than the 160 million predicted users from English-speaking countries.

Now more than ever, it is important to see the benefits of expanding web business to international markets. As more countries go online, the greater the opportunity for gaining revenue from international customers. Many companies will no longer gain optimal profit by limiting online business to their native country.

Getting in the face of users

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau's "Internet Advertising Report," revenues from online advertising reached U.S. $693 million in 1Q99. This is almost double the total online advertising revenues from 1Q98. At the rate they're growing, we can expect to see online advertising revenues top U.S. $3 billion by year-end 1999.

Why are these revenues growing so quickly? The IAB's report attributes it to the following factors:

  • Consumer confidence in the Internet medium is on the rise;

  • Initial success in the consumer goods market is encouraging other markets to advertise online;

  • Relationships between online publishers and advertisers are improving; and

  • Internet advertising is beginning to capture more market share.

These numbers are encouraging advertisers to shift more spending to the online market. As more people in more countries go online, opportunities for exposure and brand recognition will grow.

Commerce and convenience

The much-talked-about topic of e-commerce will continue to be talked about in the coming year. According to CyberAtlas (Westport, Conn.), which specializes in Internet statistics and trend reporting, revenues from consumer spending online will continue to grow at the rate of almost 300% a year over the next four years.

These days, just having a web site isn't enough for most companies that wish to optimize profits. The web site needs to do something besides just sit there. For most companies, adding e-commerce is an excellent way to increase traffic and revenue. People and businesses are turning to the Internet to make purchases because of the convenience of being able to make transactions from the desktop, and the lower prices resulting from markup reduction.

Think about it

The pressure is on to get as immersed in the Internet market as possible. As 1999 closes, take time to reflect on what was accomplished in the past year, analyze trends for the future, and plan 2000's strategy with a bigger picture in mind.


Author Information
Laura Zurawski, web editor lzurawski@cahners.com


The Big Day

The following are some web sites that list major New Years' 2000 events around the world:

Millennium Alliance (

New Years' Eve 1999(

France's Worldwide Observatory of the Year 2000 (

2000 and You 2000andyou.com/2000/)—A library of Y2K planning resources, news, and a live chat area for discussing Y2K plans with others.



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