eCommerce finds a solid base

While the two reports from Nielsen//NetRatings, Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Harris Interactive and comScore Networks have come up with quite different estimates on the level of ecommerce activity for the current holiday period, they both put the year-over-year growth between 25 and 30 percent. In other words, American consumers are more comfortable shopping online and ecommerce businesses have earned their trust by being able to deliver on time.

The numbers do not surprise me at all. Here at eCreativa Media, our numbers tell an even more positive story. Our month-to-month growth was over 100% and we will close 2005 at over 3X of our 2004 numbers – driven mostly by the boom in online ad spend.

It is encouraging that a large number of businesses are starting to get it though I still have concerns about limited online advertising in Spanish. I hope advertisers will get over their fear of a foreign language, invest in putting a system together for serving Hispanic customers, and move some of their budget online. The ROI should be fairly quick and high, based on our research.

Recommended article: How to target Hispanic customers in the US?

Guidant invites more lawsuits

I was really hoping that business leaders will learn from the mistakes of Merck and Pfizer and handle product defects more carefully. However, it seems that Guidant has literally copied everything that these two companies have done. And now the New York Times is reporting that “Officials of the Guidant Corporation projected in an internal report that some patients might die as a result of short circuits in a company heart device (defibrillators), but it did not publicize the flaw because it apparently viewed the overall failure rate as acceptable, company records filed in connection with a lawsuit show.

In other words, we have another classic case study of how short-sighted strategies can spell disaster for a firm and its shareholders. And this is not just a case of launching a software with bugs or a hard drive that crashed without warning – human lives are at stakes here. When will people learn that playing with human lives is poor business strategy? And to attack trial lawyers in a situation like this is not admitting where the real problem lies – with the management.

And I also feel sorry for the shareholders of Boston Scientific who will now have to deal with all the defibrillator recall related litigation.

Recommended article: Merck’s Vioxx recall liabilities could be as much as $65 billion