Keeping Score - Page 3

Boom Or Bust

While the Interactive 500, as a group, made impressive gains, there are still plenty of business challenges to confront.

E-tailers will have to get through whats looking like a softer-than-expected holiday shopping season. And theyll probably only get this quarter and next to prove they have taken care of past delivery and logistical glitches.

B2B companies still need to determine which businesses can and cant be run successfully on the Web. And, with a looming e-marketplace shakeout, theyll need to pick future online trading partners with great care.

And all of the Interactive 500 wannabes will need to improve transaction processing, customer retention and site reliability to ensure continued success. Theyll need to overcome a tight market for skilled e-business labor. Theyll also need involved and dedicated leaders; the recent KPMG survey found that at 40 percent of the companies it polled, senior managements current involvement in Internet planning was "probably inadequate."

How well online companies stand up to these challenges will determine the outcome of next years Interactive 500.