Companies will be slow to adopt B2B

A new study by market research firm Jupiter Media Metrix released this week found that managers in charge of purchasing for their companies plan to make only 20% of their purchases online by 2002.

          A new study by market research firm Jupiter Media Metrix released this week found that managers in charge of purchasing for their companies plan to make only 20% of their purchases online by 2002.

          These findings come despite the widely touted benefits of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce, which is predicted to boom due to its reduced costs and increased efficiency. Though the buyers surveyed said they expect to buy online eventually, 60% said that their preferred suppliers do not currently offer their goods online, thus keeping the B2B adoption rate low.

          Other reasons cited by the study for the slow acceptance of B2B e-commerce include lack of knowledge and experience with e-commerce (55% of those surveyed) and lack of trust (45%). The study predicts, however, that these hurdles will be overcome as purchasing agents spend more time online and gain more experience with Internet procurement.

          Despite the reticence evinced by the survey, procurement managers also indicated that they think the promised benefits of B2B e-commerce will be realised. Seventy-one percent said that lower costs would result from such transactions with another 56% expecting to find products more quickly.

          The study also predicts that when B2B e-commerce has gained wide acceptance, the market will diverge into two distinct branches: One market serving existing company-customer relationships and another geared towards helping companies find new suppliers and create new relationships.

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