July 30, 2003, 12:00 AM

State of the Industry

(Page 3 of 3)

Broadband = buyers

Molecular used Macromedia Inc.’s Flash technology to create the customization. One of the benefits of Flash is that Flash comes pre-installed on most computers and so customers don’t need to download a plug-in or have broadband access to make it work. Recent surveys from Nielsen/NetRatings show that retailers might be well served to offer more rich-media applications, even those requiring broadband. With a few exceptions, Internet users with broadband connections are more likely to purchase in any category than dial-up users. 18- to 24-year-olds are 15% more likely to make a purchase if they use broadband rather than narrowband. Among 25- to 54-year-olds, that rises to 26%; it grows to 32% among consumers 55 or older, according to Nielsen/NetRatings @Plan survey, conducted in the spring.

As broadband spreads, it’s a safe bet that online shopping will increase even further. And some retailers are starting to look for staff to prepare for that growth. “It’s very encouraging when I get calls from vice presidents of e-commerce looking for marketing managers,” Okamura says. “Somehow, they’re able to scrape together enough for another body. That wasn’t happening before.”

The bottom line: “Many of our clients are very happy with their online numbers, enough so that they’re revising them upward,” Okamura says. “Last year’s growth was not an anomaly.”




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