The current big story is about the demise of Internet companies (yes, over 200 Internet companies went down in 2000, according to But one story that drifted quickly off the main pages is about what Internet consumers did this past holiday season.

For those interested in e-marketing, this is important.


In case you didn't read it, the Pew Internet Project reported that people like to socialize more than buy. That's right. The Internet is more of a social phenomenon than an economic one.

The universal impulsive nature of consumers, as predicted and expected by the online advertising industry and many retailers, is evidently not coming to pass.

As we've often said on this site, the Internet might change many things in life, but people are still people and their habits and basic social needs change slowly. You can see this in the fundamental insights from the Pew project.

In short, people like person-to-person communication, they seem to like seeing products, they like to browse in a similar fashion to the offline world, they even like to purchase products in offline stores, and convenience is still a big deal with online shoppers.

So, in case you missed the details, we list below the main insights and we suggest you read them for yourself at the Pew website. They provide the basis for most of the lessons for marketing on the web.

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image of Allen Weiss

Allen Weiss is the CEO and founder of MarketingProfs. He's also a longtime marketing professor and mentor at the University of Southern California, where he leads Mindful USC, its mindfulness center.