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Fewer than one in three large French companies has a web site on the Internet

Paris, March 29, 1999… By the end of 1998, 27% of the 1500 largest French firms had set up their own Internet web site. Benchmark Group took up an exhaustive study of which large French firms were on line: 405 sites of the first 1500 of those companies were visited to get an idea of their features and 100 company web site managers were interviewed. The result of these efforts is the first complete panorama of French business on the Internet. Included in the wide-ranging information that this study contains, are the following points:

- The industrial sector that was best represented was the communications industry (59% of companies had a web site), the worst represented was the agribusiness sector (16%)
- 43 % of the sites were at least bilingual
- 70 % of the sites contain information on the company's corporate communications.
- 13 % of the sites provide for electronic sales
- 28 % of the sites have a heading labelled
"employment "
- 4 % of the sites offer a mailing list
- 24 % of the sites are equipped with a search engine
- 48 % of the sites use "frames" (multiwindowing)
- The communications industry is the most technically advanced; commerce and transportation have the most efficient sites (speed and content); finance has the most elaborate sites; chemical-pharmaceutical concerns have the best corporate communications; agribusiness generally showed the poorest development ; the automotive industry had the most sophisticated web sites.
- 44 % of the sites get fewer than 5000 hits a month, 20 % get more than 100,000.
- 15 % of the sites receive more than 40 E-mail messages daily.
- 80 % of the sites cost less than 500,000 FRR (76,000 euros) to develop, 8% cost more than a million FRF (152,000 euros).
- Three sites out of four are hosted on company servers. - One out of every two sites has never done on-line advertising and does not foresee doing so in the future. - One out of three sites is updated daily.
- 95 % of the sites' editors say they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied"- with their Internet experience.

The study was done during the last quarter of 1998. The companies surveyed were chosen from 1000 firms ranked in L'Expansion which in fact surveys 1500 companies across all commercial and industrial sectors, with subsidiaries of large groups included. These firms all have an annual turnover of at least 400 million FRF. The "on line" visits to the 405 sites listed in the study were enhanced by an "off-line" evaluation for which 100 site managers, representing various commercial and industrial sectors, were interviewed.

The complete study entitled LES GRANDES ENTREPRISES FRANÇAISES ET L'INTERNET (380 pages) is available from the Benchmark Group, for the price of 4,950 FRF (before taxes) (special offer).

Benchmark Group is a survey and publishing group and has specialised in Web-based economy since 1996. Among other activities, Benchmark Group publishes the monthly testimonials STRATEGIE INTERNET (Web-based Strategy) and INTERNET MARCHAND (Web-based dealers) and has carried out surveys on Web advertising in France, electronic trade in France as well as a guide of Internet Service Providers and Studios in France.



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