Forrester: most dot-com retailers face demise

Forrester Research Inc. has added its voice to the chorus of e-skeptics that have been hammering Internet retailers of late, having issued a report that predicts the demise of most Internet-only retailers by the end of next year.

The combination of weak financials, increasing competitive pressures, and investor flight will drive most of today’s dot-com retailers out of business by 2001, according to a statement issued by the Cambridge, Mass.-based research company.

More retailers offer on-line shopping: study

The percentage of retailers selling merchandise over the Internet doubled from 1999 to 2000, according to a survey of 159 retail executives and IT managers released last month. The study, a joint effort by Computer Sciences Corp. and Retail Info Systems News, showed that 36.3 per cent of retailers polled offer on-line shopping services, compared with just 17.8 per cent a year ago.

But the study confirmed that on-line shopping is still offered by a minority of retailers, consistent with a Deloitte & Touche LLP survey released earlier this year. Retailers’ business-to-business efforts are also dragging, according to the new CSC/RIS News survey. Just 7.3 per cent of the retailers polled said they have built extranets to collaborate with trading partners, while more than half (57.3 per cent) conduct no business with trading partners via Web-based systems.

E-Signature bill submitted to Japan’s parliament

Three Japanese government ministries have submitted a bill to the country’s parliament that seeks to give electronic signatures the same status in law as hand-written signatures and personal seals. Under discussion since the middle of 1999, the bill was drafted and submitted by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Justice.

The move comes in response to the growing use of e-commerce and a lack of clear rules covering the use of electronic signatures and certification in Japan.