Bricks-And-Clicks Strategy Will Dominate E-Commerce

International Data Corporation (IDC), a Framingham, Mass.-based information technology research firm, says that the U.S. online jewelry market (e-commerce) will grow from $77 million in 1999 to more than $1 billion in 2004. The research contends that people who shop online are becoming increasingly Internet-savvy, to the point of feeling comfortable with a $1,000 online purchase. "The market will defy the conventional wisdom that says consumers would want to see and hold fine jewelry before they plunk down large amounts of money," says Jonathan Gaw, a research manager with IDC's consumer e-commerce major purchases program, who conducted the research. Many factors contribute to this conclusion, Gaw says, including the increasing number of jewelers going online with Web sites, the cost savings of buying products online, technology improvements, and the lack of pressure felt by consumer

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