Web Commerce Not Yet Worldwide

While e-commerce is supposed to allow consumers and businesses alike to conduct their business from the comfort of a home or office, only certain parts of the world are currently benefiting from it, and it will likely remain that way for some time. E-commerce in the regions of North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific will make up 94 percent of all worldwide e-commerce in 2000, according to research by Computer Economics.

“Over the next three years, the worldwide e-commerce market will open up in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and grow to $9.5 trillion in transactions by 2003, or about 93 percent of the worldwide total,” said Michael Erbschloe, VP of research for Computer Economics. “It is going to take another decade or more as well as a lot of funding to grow the Web globally.”

According to Computer Economics, online marketers looking to target their products to individual consumers, rather than businesses, should be particularly wary of attempting to build market share in regions other than North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

By 2003, business-to-consumer transactions in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific combined will have multiplied by over seven times the 2000 amount, the research found.

“Business-to-consumer transactions will become increasingly based in these three major regions over the next four years, so that by 2003, about 99.9 percent of all business-to-consumer transactions will take place in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific,” Erbschloe said.

The B2B market is more open to regions outside North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific than the business-to-consumer sector, according to Computer Economics, but companies looking to develop new markets must still use caution.

“Companies should not expect to establish many new business-to-business relationships in the less technologically advanced areas anytime soon, as the major regions will clearly dominate the business-to-business global economy with nearly $2.9 trillion in 2000, and that figure will grow steadily to $9.2 trillion by 2003,” Erbschloe said.

Despite their restriction to certain geographic regions, electronically transacted sales worldwide will still increase 1,164 percent, from nearly $100 billion in 1999, to $1.24 trillion by 2003, according to the eBusiness Report by eMarketer. In 1999, the US share of e-commerce revenue approached three-fourths of the world’s total in 1999. By 2003, the US portion will drop to 53 percent of overall revenues.

Other findings from the eMarketer report include:

  • In the US alone, there are 590,000 firms conducting electronic commerce; by year-end 2000, this figure will reach 820,000
  • Small businesses will make the greatest advances in e-commerce revenues over the next few years, growing from $14.3 billion in 1999 to $177 billion by 2003
  • Medium and large businesses will continue to account for the majority of e-commerce revenues, increasing from $57.1 billion in 1999 to $477.3 billion by 2003.

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