How To Boil A Frog – On The Internet

Drop a frog in hot water and it will immediately jump out. Place it in cool water and then slowly warm it up and the frog goes to sleep and boiling can begin!

Many companies are like the somnambulant frog when it comes to the internet. Consider some of the following:

  • 17% of BA airlines total bookings are made via ba.com, £15m per week. Average of £10 per transaction cheaper
  • BT Broadband £253 million (5% of turnover) Oct-Dec 2004
  • 5% of Argos sales ordered over the internet in 6 months to Sept 30th 2004
  • Reed Elsevier £1.2bn (25% of 2004 group turnover) from on-line, making it the UKs biggest internet company
  • Tesco.com £307m (1.9% of turnover £15 million of profit) in 24 weeks to August 2004
  • William Hill interactive online turnover 8.4% 2004 23% of total operating profits. Online sales growth 25% pa, profit growth 40% growth. 1m registered users
  • $34 billon worth of goods traded on eBay in 2004 (bigger than the GDP of Kenya)
  • 80% of US car buyers visit the showroom with their researched shortlist and the cheapest price already established from internet data
  • 30% of UK Mini customers configure their Mini online, forward the spec. to the dealer and order the car
  • US Thanksgiving weekend ’04 saw Amazon sell more consumer electronics than books (by value) for the first time

Source: FT consolidated data

The internet is a disruptive technology, its just happening a bit more slowly than the dot com hypers originally stated. The organisations that will make most money, take the new opportunities and minimise the risks will be the ones that are wide awake, rather than dreamily dozing.