Goldman, Sachs & Co. (New York) have released a study on business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce in the United States, entitled B2B: 2B Or Not 2B?
New business opportunities will likely emerge in two distinct sectors:
- E·frastructure – the essential architecture of B2B, consisting of auction solutions software, content management software, and Web-based commerce enablers.
- E·markets are Web sites where buyers and sellers come together to communicate, exchange ideas, advertise, bid in auctions, conduct transactions, and coordinate inventory and fulfillment.
The report estimates that the B2B market in the United States will grow to approximately US$1.5 trillion by 2004 from a base of US$39 billion in 1998.
IT managers and financial officers are increasingly becoming vocal proponents of B2B implementations. Following are selected highlights from the survey:
- E-commerce spending on proprietary Web site, e·market, and procurement will increase in the near future;
- Businesses are increasingly likely to develop B2B e·markets and to favour online auctions; and
- Outsourcing e-commerce spending is commonplace among businesses.
Small businesses will be an important driver of the B2B market. The research indicates that the use of, and dependence on, the Internet by small businesses as a medium for marketing, distribution, and commerce will fuel the B2B market.
As more small businesses access the Internet and set up corporate Web pages, they will increasingly employ the Internet to execute their business strategy.
Industries that are B2B-inclined exhibit certain key characteristics, including
- a highly diffuse supply chain;
- a culture dominated by techno-innovation;
- a process which represents more than 20% of total costs;
- products exhibiting complex configurations;
- intense expense pressure.
Leading B2B-inclined industries include the following: Computer Hardware and Software; Aerospace/Defense; Electronics; Chemicals; Motor Vehicles and Parts; and Medical Equipment and Transport.
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