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Good Intentions

Why businesses are using the Net.

Exactly what are businesses using their Web sites to accomplish? A new Pricewaterhouse-Coopers LLP survey of growing companies indicates the top uses are building relationships with customers (61 percent) and inviting customer feedback (60 percent).

While it's predictable, for instance, that 94 percent of business Web sites are used to advertise the company and its products, the key finding is that smart organizations employ the Web to build "virtual communities to capture the hearts and minds of their customers," says Ellen M. Knapp of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Only 32 percent of the respondents use the Web for the direct sale of products or services. Says Knapp, "E-commerce security remains an issue."

To contact Robert McGarvey, visit his Web site at

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This article was originally published in the April 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Good Intentions.

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