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Web Economy - The Bull Run

2006 seems to be a particularly good year for the web economy, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2006 19:26 IST

2006 seems to be a particularly good year for the web economy. Growing interest in web businesses, unprecedented amount of money flowing in the economy and the old economy blue blood that completely shunned the web 6 years ago are now evaluating and implementing web based models for future growth and revenues.

Sky’s the limit - Soaring Internet Advertising Revenues

According to a report from the Internet Advertising Bureau Internet advertising sales reached record levels in the first six months of this year nearing $7.9 billion. Sales were up about 37 percent over the same period last year.

Online ad sales also passed the $4 billion mark in the second quarter for the first time ever, with sales reaching $4.1 billion, according to the report, which was prepared by IAB together with accounting and consulting house PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

HindustanTimes 3G conference was held on 27th September 2006 in New Delhi. The who’s who of the new economy was there. Every noteworthy speaker emphasized on the internet and the web as a booming advertising medium and the only one which has actually grown in the last few years.

Online Sales – Fuelling the growth

Traditional Businesses getting online

On 27th September Reuters carried a report saying more Britons than ever are expected to shop online this Christmas as better delivery times, greater ease with search engines and social networking sites like MySpace.com fuel shopper confidence. Hitwise UK, a leading tracker of Internet trends, compiled the forecasts and said supermarket giant Tesco could be among the biggest winners, indicating how much Britain's traditional retailers are expanding in cyberspace. Britain is witnessing growth in Internet shopping with data showing more and more shoppers now prefer to log on and browse from home rather than face the stress of the high street.  You could view the article here

http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=technologyNews&storyID=2006-09-27T120914Z_01_L27182136_RTRIDST_0_TECH-BRITAIN-RETAIL-ONLINE-COL.XML

Web retailers in Western Europe will sell $97 billion worth of products and services in 2006. That's a 37% increase over last year. By 2010, the market will more than double to $234 billion, according to eMarketer's latest report, Europe Retail E-Commerce: Spotlight on the UK, Germany and France.

The case of increased spending on internet shopping isn’t just restricted to Europe and US.  India is witnessing a sharp rise in online sales. A report published recently said small towns are driving the growth of online shopping portal eBay India with as many as 40% of shoppers coming from non-metros.   eBay India has a 2 million strong community from across 240 towns in the country.

India is expected to touch the Rs 2300 crore mark in 2007

The Strong Fundamentals – no bubble to burst

When an organization like Reliance invests in a web venture like Yatri.com I guess we can be sure the future is in the web economy. The boom this time is very different from the late 90’s. No, not the hype. No maverick CEO shifts. No mega mergers. No front page mega font headlines.  And above all, no obscene display for the heck of it. The boom this time is distinctly different from the late 90’s. The bells and whistles are missing. The fundamentals are extremely strong and there absolutely exists no bubble to burst.

The Last Word

All the so called experts who had initially hyped the web and internet and then when the bubble burst had been overtly critical of the web have a lesson to learn. The integrity of web and internet for business was never been in question. The issue was of the right people coming in and the timing. Both seem to be happening now. Patience pays and the web boom is here to stay. Take my word for it.

Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist atwww.cyberzest.comand editswww.thebusinessedition.comyou can email him onpuneet@cyberzest.co