The Economics of the Internet.

To an economist it almost seems that the internet and www were designed as a vast experiment to test the limits of the free market. An unimaginable amount of products, services and information are now available at the click of a mouse. The internet and the www promise to change the way business is conducted, its interactivity and scope invite people to approach purchases and information-seeking in a manner more consumer driven and sustained than television. People are intrigued and drawn in by the ability to view images, get information and transact business from their desk. The digital revolution and dawn of electronic commerce are here.

"Time has ceased, space has vanished. We now live in a global village...Electronic circuitry profoundly involves men with one another. Information pours upon us, instantaneously and continuously. As soon as information is acquired, it is very quickly replaced by still newer information."-Marshall McLuhan

Here are some statistics to ponder:

35% of the US population is expected to be on the web in 1998.

Total online commerce is expected to exceed $30 billion in five years.

Online retail sales alone are expected to exceed $500 million this year(1998) and increase to nearly 6 billion by 2000.

Web advertising expenditures are expected to reach 2.5 billion over the next two years.

(sources:SIMBA and Gartner Group)

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