E-marketplaces 'growing steadily': IDC

Participation in e-marketplaces has been quietly growing in Australia, but is far from mainstream, according to recent IDC Australia research.

While there have been more failures than successes around the world, an e-business survey of 250 Australian organisations reveals an 80 per cent increase in buyer participation in e-marketplaces over the past 12 months.

Findings from IDC's survey found 11 per cent of respondents had purchased through an e-marketplace, compared to 6.1 per cent in 2001.

However, the future looks bleak for the concept with buyer participation intentions declining.

IDC attributes this downturn to the realisation amongst business leaders that e-marketplaces are not applicable to every business and industry and often do not support the purchasing requirements of an organisation.

"While they do have a place among the overall e-business landscape, e-marketplaces are not the revolutionary force once imagined," an IDC spokesman said.

"Few organisations have chosen to pursue a single purchasing initiative. Rather, organisations are choosing numerous e-business models - including e-marketplaces, e-procurement, Internet, EDI or strategic sourcing."

Seller participation does not differ greatly from buyer participation, with 12 per cent of organisations surveyed reporting they currently sold their products or services to other businesses through e-marketplaces.

The spokesman said this figure is down slightly from the 2001 finding of 16.6 per cent.

"With only a small number of organisations expressing interest in participating in e-marketplaces, such service providers will need to elevate their differentiation in a new and competitive market to ensure they remain viable and survive on-going consolidation."

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