Buyers Drive BTB E-Commerce Increase

Business-to-business e-commerce in the United States will soon enter a high-growth phase and will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 41 percent over the next five years, the Yankee Group, Boston, said last week. The market research firm predicts that BTB e-commerce transaction volume will grow from $138 billion in 1999 to more than $541 billion in 2003.

It believes that buyers will drive the increase as companies ranging in size will eventually adopt BTB e-commerce procurement for convenience and cost-savings potential. As a result of the growth, the Yankee Group believes that four business types will benefit the most: Trenchant buyers include those who leverage BTB e-commerce procurement ease-of-use to negotiate more favorable supplier discounts; vigilant sellers capture more of each customer's total purchases by providing them with convenient buyer-centric BTB e-commerce offerings; cybermediaries bring together previously unknown buyers and sellers; and Internet solution providers include those who provide enabling technologies to support the BTB e-commerce efforts. BTB e-commerce as defined by the Yankee Group is the entire commerce cycle from awareness to product research, comparison, selection, supplier sourcing, transactions, fulfillment and post-sales support.

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