While virtually all businesses today seem to have their own Web sites, most businesses have yet to become deeply involved in electronic commerce (EC): 80 percent of EC is conducted by the top 25 suppliers on the Internet. As the CEO of a large publishing house has said, "Once you can tell the success story of electronic commerce without mentioning Amazon, Cisco, and Dell, I will take this trend for real." When will EC become real for companies other than the pioneering early adopters? For many businesses, this question will be a key strategic issue – for some, even an issue of survival. The ability to recognise early indicators of accelerated e–commerce growth will help these businesses to know when to "take this trend for real".