According to IT market researcher IDC, Australians will spend just under $US10 billion online in 2001. IDC forecasts this to grow to nearly $US80 billion by 2005.
For New Zealand, the figures are just over $US1 billion this year, growing to over $US14 billion in four years’ time. IDC predicts B2B e-commerce revenues in the Asia-Pacific region alone will surpass $30 billion in 2005, representing a capital growth of more than 91% from 2000.
In all cases these figures are dominated by business to business (B2B) e-commerce. The consumer market is tiny in comparison. This is one reason why IDC senior analyst Brooke Galloway says the B2B e-commerce sector is not affected by “dot-bomb” nervousness about business and the internet.
Rather, electronic commerce over the internet is rapidly becoming an established business practice, led by the efforts of large organisations over recent years to build automated business applications on open systems architecture, which they can then link to their suppliers’ and customers’ system to automate the whole supply chain.
E-marketplaces are one of three B2B ecommerce models, the others being e-procurement and e-distribution. The main difference is e-marketplaces are run by a neutral third-party offering services to buyers and sellers, but not otherwise participating in the trade. The others are either sales-focused or procurement-focused, usually operate within a particular industry, and include their founders in the transactions.
According to IDC, 50% of all Australian e-commerce in 2000 was e-procurement, 45% e-distribution, and only 5% of electronic trade took place in e-markets.
This tiny percentage is forecast to grow. IDC reckon that by 2005, the Australian e-marketplace sector will generate over 30% of electronic trade.
However, Aseem Prakash, an independent e-commerce consultant told Computerworld Australia that businesses may have to wait three to five years for results from e-marketplaces.
“There are some powerful alternatives to choose from, from the private exchange, straight e-hub or collaborative commerce exchange to the internal or external exchange.”
Prakash believes the only current e-marketplace success stories are two in the US, among them one by General Electric, that have been operational for a year.
Meanwhile, Supplynet’s website cites studies suggesting that in Australasia companies will conduct $235 billion worth of B2C commerce by 2005, of which $21 billion worth will take place in New Zealand.