Many companies have tried - and so far, failed - to make money out of e-commerce, and it is the Old Economy names - complete with their brand names, existing customer relationships, and ability to better-deliver fulfilment, that are now in the best position to succeed.
For many of the old dotcoms, the best bet for them is to get together in an alliance, similar to that originally fashioned by Great Universal Stores and Jungle.com, Kingfisher and ThinkNatural, or Wal-Mart and Shopsmart. It is these alliances that are featured in our special report on business-to-consumer e-commerce, which also looks at how to avoid the pitfalls in setting-up your online operation. And together with market researcher Gartner Group, we have a special quiz designed to help you decide whether or not you have a successful e-commerce strategy.
In news analysis, we also look in more detail at John Lewis's Buy.com purchase, including how it might integrate it into its core high-street operations.
Meanwhile, as dotcom start-ups fade away, opportunities exist for 'scavengers' to fly by and pick up 'carrion' from what just a year ago were fledgling companies with good ideas, high hopes of success - but which were dependent on funding that has now slipped away. We explain on p74 how you can windowshop for dot-com bargains.
For some small- or medium-sized organisations, opportunities still exist to create a Web presence without paying a fortune. On p22, we detail how Sussex Yacht Club managed to create what it hopes will be a "communications hub for yachting" on a budget of £1,500.
This was first published in February 2001