Forrester introduces "transactive content"

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At its 10th annual conference, the 1997 Forrester Forum in Boston, Forrester Research on Nov. 13 said the only way businesses will be able to meet their Internet commerce expectations is through "transactive content" -- a blending of transactions, interactive capabilities and content.

"The Web is a dead technology," said George Colony, president of Forrester. "HTML is not alluring, interactive or engaging. To create an immersive experience for the consumer on the Internet, you need transactive content."

In defining the three points on the transactive content triangle, Stan Dolberg, director of software strategies at Forrester and author of the new transactive content report, pointed to Wells Fargo as a transaction site, iVillage as an interactive site and The New York Times as a content site.

To achieve true transactive content, sites must merge all three of these capabilities.

Mr. Dolberg noted that at CDnow, users can read a music review, then buy a CD on the site. "That kind of activity will build transactive content," he said.

To get a sense of how many of the 600-plus business executives attending the forum thought their sites were employing effective commerce capabilities, Forrester asked attendees to answer the following question using an interactive audience response system:

"Do you think your mom could buy something at your site?"

The response: 42% said no, 15% said yes and a full 43% said their sites do not support commerce.

Copyright November 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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