B2 Awards Post 4

[ Most transactions ]

The brokerage indus-try has taken to the Internet like ducks to water. The statistics are staggering: In 1998, the number of online accounts doubled, trading activity almost tripled, and revenue followed accord-ingly. No wonder the top 10 online brokers made it into the Business 2.0 100. Topping them all is the king of online trading, Charles Schwab. Had we been counting page views, Yahoo! could have claimed the top spot on transactions, but here we’re counting transactions, making Schwab the hands-down winner.
January was a peak month for the online trading sector, and Schwab’s Website aver-aged 33 million hits per day, executing a daily average of 153,000 trades. That’s close to three times the volume of its nearest com-petitor. Overall, Schwab boasts 2.24 million online accounts, totaling $175 billion under management on the Web. An average of $1.2 billion in securities value is transacted each day on schwab.com. Granted, there have been a few partial service interruptions, but Schwab offers alternative methods of trading, such as automated telephone service.

The incredible growth in online trading activity is pushing the limits of transaction capabilities on the Web, and that’s good for an industry that is fast learning how to ele- vate its capacities. For the rest of 1999, it looks like the busiest site will get even busier. Schwab is scaling up to handle twice as many log-ons as the 100,000 it handles now, keeping it on the upper edge of Web transactions limits.

[ Most successful infomediary ]

Well before the Internet, the NECX Private Exchange was already matching together buyers and sellers of electronic com-ponents, computer products, and network-ing equipment. The NECX ecommerce business, the NECX Office & Personal Technology Center, started in 1995 and grew to $86 million in revenue last year.

NECX wins our “Most Successful Infomediary” award for its work in funda-mentally changing the role the retailer plays between the buyer and the seller. The com-pany became the first online retailer to showcase its competitors’ prices on its site, even when those competi-tors’ prices were lower, and provided links to their sites.

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