Australia leads Asia e-comm apps boom

The Asia-Pacific Internet electronic commerce applications market, excluding Japan, is projected to pass the $US1 billion mark by 2003, according to a report issued last week by market researcher IDC.

Internet e-commerce software applications are defined as applications that enable companies to conduct business online. IDC estimates that the market will grow 95 per cent to $US40.45 million in 1999 and to $US 169.76 million in 2000. By 2003, the market is projected to top $US1.3 billion.

In 1998, revenue for that market space reached $20.8 million, up 104 per cent from $10.17 million in 1997, according to IDC.

The market research company attributed the strong growth in 1998 to an increasing number of organisations and their IT professionals adopting Internet commerce software products rather than developing their own Internet e-commerce programs.

IDC found that the Australia and New Zealand sub-region is the leading driver of sales for e-commerce software vendors in the region.

This is mainly due to the use of English as the main language medium, a relatively mature IT infrastructure and high Internet user penetration, IDC said.

Outside of the Australia and New Zealand sub-region, IDC found that the hottest markets for e-commerce software adoption among innovative companies in the region are Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

IDC highlighted two types of applications that can be expected to be particularly important over the next two years: those that allow Web sites to better manage online content and those that help sites improve their interaction with customers.

In 1999, the virtual marketplace concept is expected to play a significant role in business-to-business e-commerce, according to IDC.

IDC identified Oracle, Open Market, Intershop Communications, Sterling Commerce, Ariba Technologies, Netscape Communications, BroadVision and InterWorld as the top eight vendors, in no particular order, in the overall Internet commerce applications market. Those vendors represent nearly 75 per cent of the total licence sales revenue for the entire region, indicating that the market is vastly under-penetrated, IDC said.

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