5 YEARS SINCE THE
HAS THE INTERNET CHANGED THE WAY BUSINESS IS DONE?
he impact of Internet search engine Google straddles the worlds of technology finance, , marketing, job hunting, even personal dating. Since it was set up by a couple of Stamford University PhD students in 1998, Google has grown into the world’s biggest media company and now employs 8000 people, yet its key marketing service – Internet searching – didn’t even exist a decade ago. Now, it receives about a billion search requests per day . Recently Google agreed a $900m deal with MySpace, a , social networking site that holds photos, web logs (blogs), forums and email, in a bid to attract more online users to their own site, and in October this year, it bought YouTube, a video-sharing website. This move indicates how important Google expects online video to become as viewers and advertisers migrate from conventional television. Research has found that 16-24 year-olds are turning off television and radio to spend up to three hours online each week. If this trend accelerates, it poses a serious challenge for advertisers who want to appeal to this section of the market. Distribution and retailing are also seeing dramatic changes indicating that ‘e-tailing’ is here with a vengeance. In July John Lewis’s flagship store, Peter Jones in Chelsea, , found its website sales overtook its ‘bricks and mortar’ sales. As the group’s managing director pointed out: “People are using our site to not only shop online, but do research and comparisons and then complete their purchases in store or over the phone.” By next year, he reckons, the website could overtake the current top store in Oxford Street.
Wilf Altman looks at business on the web
Dixons is the latest retailer to switch more aggressively to online selling to compete with other e-tailers. Another group brand, Currys, together with the remaining Dixons stores, has been renamed ‘Currys.digital’. John Clare, chief...