March 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Portal, affiliates will drive half of e-commerce by 2005, says a new report

Forrester Research says so-called e-commerce brokers – certain intermediaries that support retailers’ sales efforts and guide consumers through the buying process – will drive 45% of online sales within five years.

Among the many online intermediaries that aggregate merchant listings and products, portals and affiliate programs will emerge as winners in terms of the sales and traffic they drive to e-retail sties, according to a new report by Forrester Research. Currently, portal shopping sites like AOL, Excite and Yahoo! collectively generate 44% of traffic and 34% of online sales. By 2005, they`ll generate 45% of online sales, Forrester predicts.

By contrast, retailers reported that only 7% of their sales originated from their agreements with niche content portals such as women’s networks and 6% from agreements with comparison shopping sites. Though e-retailers like the sales coming from their portal and affiliate program partners, they’re looking for more from them, Forrester says. A total of 42% surveyed said they wanted more promotions from their intermediary partners, while 34% seek better account management and 24% want more performance-based deals.

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