E-Commerce Briefs

Users of Web portals, shared-interest sites, auction sites and corporate applications could see which participants are logged in to America Online Inc.’s AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), and contact them, through a deal between AOL and PresenceWorks Inc.

As instant messaging (IM) becomes more ubiquitous, visitors to Web sites want to be able to contact a fellow visitor immediately, according to Matt Smith, chief executive officer of PresenceWorks. For example, a shopper on an auction site may want to converse in real time with a seller, and a participant in a dating site may want to start up a real-time chat, he said. At Web sites that use PresenceWorks’ software to provide a link to AIM, any current AIM user will be able to find out if another AIM user is available and then click on a button to start chatting with that user via AIM. The AIM software must be installed and running on each user’s machine.

Canada’s e-com market volatile: report

For every five Canadian businesses that started selling online, four firms stopped – seeming evidence of a “volatile” e-commerce market, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

In contrast, StatCan’s 2001 Survey of Electronic Commerce and Technology also reported that for every two firms that sold online in 2000, five stopped. The survey reveals that while Canadian online sales of goods and services rose last year (seven per cent, up from six per cent in 2000), e-commerce sales still only account for a small slice of total operating revenue (0.5 per cent in 2001, up from 0.2 per cent in 1999).

Yahoo top of the charts, with many hits

Internet titan Yahoo Inc. said recently that it has become the most trafficked Internet brand in the U.S., holding significant weight in the categories of search, finance, music and personalized information, according to a study by researcher Nielsen//NetRatings Inc.,

The findings were revealed in a Nielsen//NetRatings MarketView report, tracking home and work Web use for February 2002. The survey measured the average amount of time users spent on certain sites to ascertain the popularity of different Web properties. According to the survey, Yahoo ranked number one in terms of minutes users spent on its branded Web sites per month, trailed by Microsoft Corp. Network (MSN) and America Online Inc. In 18 of the Internet markets measured, it ranked in the top three and came in number one in five categories.