Surprise upturn for online trading

29 November 2001
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29 November 2001

Online business-to-business trading is increasing faster than expected, according to the first official figures from an organisation of e-marketplace owners.

The Global Trading Web Association's (GTWA) analysis of activity on members' e-marketplaces between January and June revealed a 733 per cent increase in transactions in the last year to 884,166. Sales volumes rose from £80 million to £2.6 billion in the same period.

The study collated the performance of all 32 members, which include BT Ignite, Commerce One, Exostar and Accenture.

But the findings clash with a survey of 95 companies by Reed Exhibitions for this week's E-Business Expo in London. Supply management drove the e-business strategy of only a fifth of those polled, while of the 60 per cent who were uncertain of the future of their e-business projects, 14 per cent said a lack of demand was a particular problem.

Sandy Kemper, the GWTA's chairman, who predicted sales of about £1.5 billion - £1.1 billion less than the actual figure - forecast a strong future for business-to-business marketplaces.

"No one's saying we've reached nirvana, but we're a very real consideration now. As the economy gets tougher, everyone's looking to cut costs."

Jane Vose, head of BT Ignite's e-commerce product portfolio, said: "Too much talk of e-business is based on predictions - this shows us it is really happening."

SMnov2001

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