Metrics Briefs

SAN FRANCISCO (03/09/2000) - CALIFORNIA SPENDS MOST: Almost one-quarter of U.S. online retail spending in 1999 came from just five states. California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois represented 22.5 percent of American consumer e-commerce, according to the latest data from IDC. California topped the list at $5.9 billion, 8 percent of overall spending. Texas and New York were the runners up, each representing about $3.2 billion. North Dakota and Wyoming had the lowest spending, about $41.5 million each.

DESKTOP PRICES MOVIN' UP: PCs are still pretty cheap, but prices are trending upward. In January, the average retail price for a Windows-based PC, $873, was up for the fourth consecutive month, according to PC Data. That's still down 7.7 percent from January 1999 when PCs ran about $946. Budget PCs, those under $1,000, represented 75 percent of January unit sales. But sales of the very cheapest PCs, those under $600, fell from 35 percent of December sales to 23 percent of January's.

JAPAN DRIVES ASIAN E-COMMERCE: In 2000, the Asia-Pacific region will generate more than $7 billion in retail e-commerce, up from $2.8 billion last year, according to predictions from the Boston Consulting Group. By comparison, European consumer e-commerce took in a total $3.5 billion in 1999. Last year, three countries represented 94 percent of the Asia-Pacific online retail market: Japan at $1.5 billion, Korea at $720 million and Australia at $380 million. The fastest growing e-commerce category was online brokerages, which brought in $520 million in 1999, largely driven by phenomenal growth in South Korea.

RETURN OF THE ONLINE SHOPPER: Keeping customers coming back is a top challenge for e-merchants. Much-touted bells and whistles like personalization and one-click shopping are important to less than one-third of the intensive online shoppers surveyed recently by Cyber Dialogue. More vital are basic features, such as guaranteed transaction security, which 85 percent of respondents found very important in prompting return visits. Discounts and free shipping are also strong lures, seen as crucial for prompting return visits by more than three-quarters of respondents.

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