Optimism Prevails In B2B eCommerce Despite Low Income, Says IDC

AMSTERDAM – FEBRUARY 21, 2002 – Although many online sales companies are still not making much money, optimism prevails and they are happy with their online sales figures. Generally, companies are leveraging existing investments and infrastructure in relation to their Web sales, but satisfactory levels of liquidity remain an issue for most online B2B sellers, says IDC.


The percentage of B2B companies actually selling over the Web is small. "The perception of the Internet has not changed dramatically over the past years", said Mikael Arnbjerg, Program Manager for IDC's European B2B & eMarketplaces research. "Companies see the Internet as a very fast and cost effective sales channel but, on the negative side, it is perceived as impersonal and challenges the way client relationships are cultivated. However, fewer companies now rule out the Internet as a future sales channel," he adds.

Although the Web has been hailed as the efficient way of breaking into new global markets, the reality is that sellers rarely receive many foreign orders.

The transportation and travel industry is top among those driven by the desire to expand globally and is also the most international in terms of exploiting the Internet in order to reach new markets.

"eCommerce in Europe may not yet be a huge economic factor, but it seems that optimism prevails over pessimism," concluded Mr. Arnbjerg. "Many suppliers still do not see themselves as Web sellers, and those that have are still relatively new to ecommerce. Even though it may be hard to predict future Web sales, it seems that the dot-com shakeout has not shattered the ebusiness plans of European companies."

In "eCommerce in Praxis: European Sell-Side Survey, 2001" (IDC #BM01J) IDC examines the adoption of the Internet as a B2B sales channel among European companies and looks at issues such as current and future use of ecommerce, payment methods, globalization level, sales drivers and inhibitors, and the use of other channels such as emarketplaces and eprocurement. The underlying material for this report is a survey comprising 600 interviews with ecommerce and sales managers in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. All companies were at least partially addressing the B2B market, which means that B2C pure-plays were screened out. This report is available for purchase from your local office or via www.idc.com.

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