B2B Hugeness

Just how big will the marketplace for B2B e-commerce be in the next few years? With researchers making predictions of a worldwide value ranging between $US1.2 trillion and $US10 trillion by 2003, the only thing we can say for sure is that it's going to be big - darn big.

In an attempt to shed some light on the factors currently influencing B2B's growth, eMarketer, a New York City-based research company, has put out "The eCommerce: B2B Report", a whopping 255-page synthesis of the wildly fluctuating B2B research numbers currently being tossed around.

Despite all the hype, one of eMarketer's interesting findings is that, by the end of 2000, only 37 per cent of all US businesses will be involved in some kind of online commerce. By the end of 2002, the percentage is expected to nearly double to 72 per cent. A November 1999 Goldman Sachs study (reprinted by eMarketer) illustrates why US companies remain cautious about B2B projects. Sixty-four per cent of respondents to that study identified unclear ROI as the main constraint they are under, followed by an additional 45 per cent who claimed that their constituents still "don't get" B2B.

Some of their other findings:

Worldwide B2B Revenues, 1999-2003

(in billions, and as a percentage of total e-commerce) 1999 $US75.60 (71.5%)2000 $US184.85 (79.2%)2001 $US366.21 (82.5%)2002 $US684.32 (85.0%)2003 $US1255.22 (87.0%)SOURCE: EMARKETER, 2000