Slowed Internet Audience Growth Forces E-Marketers to Shift Focus

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The U.S. Internet audience's growth has slowed considerably, forcing online marketers to begin focusing more on attracting visitors from competitors' sites and getting more out of the customers they already have, according to a study by research firm Cyber Dialogue, New York.


One reason for the slowed growth is that an increasing number of adults have tried the Internet and found no use for it -- a total of 27.7 million in September, up from 9.4 million in early 1997, according to a statement released by the company yesterday.


Only about one-third of these former Internet users expect to go back anytime soon, the study determined.


"The name of the game today is to increase your share of online customers' wallets, not just your share of online eyeballs," said Thomas Miller, vice president of Cyber Dialogue.


"Some online marketers can feasibly target global markets to expand their audience, but most must begin to shift resources to better emphasize online customer retention, cross-selling and persuading customers to purchase more expensive products at their Web sites," said Miller.
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