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Technology

 January 31, 2001
New Report Reveals Global B2B eCommerce To Reach $2.7 Trillion By 2004

 Raising its estimates for internet e-commerce, eMarketer's newly released eCommerce:B2B Report forecasts that worldwide business-to-business will grow to $2.7 trillion by 2004, an increase from the $226 billion reported at year-end 2000.

The report provides detailed coverage of e-commerce activity in the 25 leading national economies around the globe. The eCommerce:B2B Report also extends eMarketer's forecast model to the year 2004 and raises the New York-based company's estimates for B2B e-commerce through 2003.

"Though our estimates remain conservative compared to other internet research firms, we find the growing leadership of old economy companies has gained momentum, and will continue to propel businesses online," says Steve Butler, senior analyst at eMarketer.

The comprehensive 279-page report also reveals that most companies now understand they will need to web-enable certain aspects of their business in order to survive in the coming years.

"Although the threat posed by many internet startups has dissipated, businesses still feel pressure from traditional competitors to use internet technology to their advantage," states Butler.

Other key findings of the eCommerce: B2B Report:

- 57% of Global CEO's surveyed by AT Kearney agreed that the internet changed company business.

- According to Merrill Lynch, only 8% to 10% of Global 5000 companies had implemented procurement software by the end of 2000.

- 74% of large companies surveyed by Morgan Stanley planned to maintain their planned IT spending in 2001, despite signs of an economic slowdown.

As a priority, most companies are planning to use the internet to strengthen ties with their customers. "In survey after survey, we found that well over 80% of respondents were focusing upon customer service as the most critical element of their e-commerce strategies," notes Butler.

Supply chain management and the improvement of relationships with key suppliers were also among the top priorities for large corporations' e-commerce strategies. Most businesses were still considering plans to participate in either public or private internet exchanges, with several companies planning to do both.