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The New Marketplace

A report from the front lines of e-commerce

This story appears in the June 1998 issue of

Deciding to sell your product or service on the Web isn't always an earthshaking event. Take the case of David Mutton, president of Driving Obsession Inc., a homebased golf training company in San Francisco. In 1996, Mutton noticed that more than 50 percent of his new clients signing up for golf lessons listed an e-mail address on their customer information forms. This detail told Mutton that a fairly large percentage of his customers are Web savvy and eventually spurred him to create a site that sells golf merchandise and gift certificates. The Web site has substantially increased his sales. "I was looking for opportunities to reach people who aren't [existing] clients," says Mutton, 41. "This has been a great way for me to generate sales that I don't think I would've gotten otherwise."

Most industry experts agree that Internet commerce has finally arrived. At last, a fair amount of computer users have reached a comfort level regarding the security of buying over the Internet. After trying it out, many have quickly been won over by the wide selection and convenience that online shopping offers. In fact, The Yankee Group Inc., a Boston-based technology research firm, estimates that business-to-consumer sales over the Internet will balloon to $10 billion by 2000.

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