Web sales houses enjoy ad boom

By MARK TUNGATE, campaignlive.co.uk, Monday, 22 November 1999 12:00AM

Online sales houses are experiencing an unprecedented seasonal boom as advertisers gear up for Christmas - and they are predicting a soaraway 2000.

Online sales houses are experiencing an unprecedented seasonal boom

as advertisers gear up for Christmas - and they are predicting a

soaraway 2000.



Some sales houses report that they are running out of inventory because

demand for e-space is so high.



Peter Wilson, sales manager at TSMSi, said the agency was benefiting

from a rash of e-commerce start-ups as well as advertising from

traditional marketers.



’We have noticed many advertisers are budgeting for the internet for the

first time when they’re considering next year’s spend,’ he said. ’While

they might have dipped a toe into the water before, they are now

seriously looking at shifting money from other media.’



Mark Nall, sales director of 24/7 Media, said talk of a Christmas boom

was ’putting it mildly’. ’It has been an incredible quarter and figures

will outstrip projections. Many of the new advertisers are e-commerce

ventures, and they are swimming in venture capital cash.’



Spending on the internet started to snowball in March, when the number

of people online officially hit ten million. ’That seemed to make a huge

difference,’ said Nall. ’Marketers seemed to suddenly realise that they

could hit a large number of people through the internet.’



Nall said total online spend had been expected to hit pounds 40-50

million this year, but that the eventual figure was likely to be higher.

Next year’s figure could grow to pounds 100 million, although there may

be a fall-off in the first quarter.



Jonathan Bill, head of sales at Real Media, confirmed that advertisers

were putting cash into Christmas. ’It goes against the theory that the

new-media sector doesn’t follow the same seasonal trends as traditional

media,’ he said. ’We’re running out of inventory to sell.’



This Christmas will also be pivotal for the online retailers. More

people than ever are expected to buy gifts over the web this year. Peter

Wilson at TSMSi said: ’The e-commerce companies know it’s going to be

big, but they’re not sure how big. While established people like

Amazon.com are sure they can handle it, some of the newer operations

aren’t sure whether they will be able to fulfil distribution.’



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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