IDC Predicts E-tailers Going Offline in 2000

According to IDC senior vice president Frank Gens, 2000 will see dot-coms looking for brick-and-mortar presences, free services and software abounding, and profits finally becoming important to Internet companies.

Wednesday’s report also foresees a broad Internet stock correction coming to e-commerce stocks, shifting focus from growth to profitability. Accordingly, Gens believes that Internet players will target 2001 as the year to turn profits.

Gens also predicts strong growth in free Internet access services and software. He believes that K-Mart’s deal with Yahoo! to offer free Internet access to those who register at Bluelight.com will become a common offer by the end of the first quarter in 2000.

Gans further expects that pure-plays such as Internet banks and brokers will find ways to add bricks to their business strategy, and that Net companies will expand their networks by adding e-channels and expanding their affiliate marketing.

Next Generation Technologies Coming in 2000

IDC predictions also include the belief that broadband will grow by 250 percent, entering more than 10 percent of online homes. Gans also expects e-wallets to reach critical mass in time for the 2000 holiday season.

Grab-Bag Predictions

Previously, IDC predicted that Microsoft would break up in 1999, a notion that has been postponed to 2000. Additionally, Gens predicts that more celebrity CEOs will jump to dot-com startups, with Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems and Larry Ellison of Oracle getting into the entrepreneurial mode.

The predictions also include Fortune 1000 companies bungling their Net strategies. In spite of the public Internet difficulties of many brick-and-mortar companies, Gens believes that many more large companies will fall prey to the treacherous waters of cyber-business.

1999 Predictions That Came True

Gens hit some targets on his 1999 predictions. He was right that Compaq would sell AltaVista (to CMGI) and that Excite would be acquired (by @Home). He also predicted that a U.S. presidential candidate would take credit for the Internet or e-commerce, and Vice-President Al Gore was only happy to oblige.

In an odd prediction, Gens claimed that e-commerce would finally exceed Bill Gates’ net worth. It did, just last month.

He also predicted that women would shift from the online minority to majority. They came close, reaching parity just this month.

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