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padViaweb Statistics Show  Boom in Online Shopping  During Holidays

Year-end rush also drives number of Viaweb merchants over 500.

Cambridge, Mass. - January 6, 1998 - Viaweb Inc, the leading supplier of online store software, today released the first statistics from this year's holiday shopping season. Analysts' predictions of an online shopping boom proved correct. For online merchants using Viaweb's software, sales for the first two weeks of December were up 69% from the preceding two weeks. Rapid growth during the holiday season also drove the number of Viaweb merchants over 500.

"Our merchants' sales have been rising steadily all year, but there was a big jump after Thanksgiving," said Viaweb president Paul Graham. "It was as if everyone suddenly decided to shop online this year."

For online merchants using Viaweb's software, combined sales in the last two weeks of November were $653,000. Sales for the first two weeks of December were $1,104,000, an increase of 69%.

Viaweb's statistics indicate that the increase in online shopping during 1997 is partly due to increased acceptance among consumers. Among Viaweb merchants, sales per page view increased from 10 cents to 24 cents during the year, meaning the average consumer was spending more than twice as much online by the end of the year.

The other reason for the increase in online shopping is that more companies are selling online. In fact, the holiday season generated a rush among merchants as well as shoppers. The number of online stores using Viaweb's software increased 35% in a single month, from 370 in mid-November to 500 in mid-December.

"Viaweb is now the most popular e-commerce software by a good margin," said Graham. "During 1997, the number of online stores using our software grew from about 70 to over 500. None of our competitors has more than 150 users up and running."

"The holiday sales success of Viaweb's customers is not surprising, since we anticipated unprecedented overall holiday Internet sales of up to $800 million for this year," said Melissa Bane, senior analyst at the Yankee Group in Boston. "Viaweb's low-cost commerce solution seems to be attractive to businesses that want to get up and running on the Internet quickly."



Viaweb, of Cambridge, Mass., is the leading developer of Web-based authoring tools. Viaweb Store, which has won both industry-wide comparisons of of e-commerce software to date (ZD Internet 7/97, and PC Magazine 11/97), lets any user make an online store in minutes through an ordinary browser. Viaweb Store is the most popular e-commerce software, currently in use in over 530 online stores, including Tweeds, Rolling Stone magazine, Frederick's of Hollywood, and the NASCAR catalog. Viaweb's Viamall (www.viamall.com) is the busiest Web mall, with over 8.5 million page views per month. For more information, visit Viaweb at www.viaweb.com or call 1-888-4-VIAWEB.



Graph 1998 WebWeek.




Sales: 1-888-4-VIAWEB or sales@viaweb.com.
Support: 1-617-876-9678 or support@viaweb.com.