Despite the Recent Dot-Com Shakeout, European Internet Commerce Is Growing Steadily, IDC Says

COPENHAGEN – MAY 1, 2001 – According to a recent report from IDC, 117 million Europeans – around 30% of the entire population – were using the Internet at the end of 2000. This figure is set to increase to 233 million by the end of 2004, representing almost 60% of the entire population. Despite the much publicized dot-com shakeout and economic slowdown, Internet commerce continues to grow and is expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2004.


"The dot-com shakeout has done nothing for the reputation of the Internet and ebusiness as a whole; however, it has allowed both consumers and companies to develop more realistic expectations of what can be accomplished using the Internet," said Daniel O’Boyle Kelly, program manager of IDC’s European Internet Economy research. "Virtues such as profitability and efficiency are finally becoming widespread in the virtual world and the collapse of certain dot-coms may actually help ebusinesses achieve more sustainable development in the future."

According to IDC, the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector saw promising growth last year, with European consumers spending $12.2 billion online, which is double that of the year before. However, these growth rates are unlikely to be carried over to the near future, although the business-to-business (B2B) sector will drive ecommerce as a whole, despite the apparent economic slowdown. New business models, such as emarketplaces and eprocurement, are helping to make B2B ecommerce increasingly relevant to decision-makers who previously found it hard to relate to a direct sales model. "Managers will also feel comfortable with focusing on the Internet-enabled process of optimization, reduced cycle times, and cost control," O’Boyle Kelly added.

"Currently, ecommerce represents a single-digit fraction of total domestic expenditure in each European country; therefore, there is plenty of opportunity for substantial growth," O’Boyle Kelly concluded. "With this in mind, the Internet represents a way of increasing productivity and reducing costs, which in some respects increases its importance, especially in time of economic downturn."

Internet Usage and Commerce in Western Europe, 2000-2004 (IDC #I01H) sizes and forecasts the Internet commerce market and includes the number of Internet users, Internet buyers, and Web-access devices. Data and forecasts are segmented by country and by access location (home, work, and school/public access). In addition, Internet commerce data and forecasts are segmented by B2C and both B2B process and end use. This report is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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