BTB Sales to Rise to $2.7 Trillion in 3 Years, Study Predicts

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Annual U.S. business-to-business sales will swell to more than $2.7 trillion by 2004 as more companies aggressively move to build on their e-commerce components, a study conducted by Forrester Research predicted this week.

Over that same time span, e-commerce will evolve from a marketplace of one-on-one transactions to one fueled by larger deals involving multiple buyers and sellers, the study predicted.

"U.S. businesses are universally preparing to buy and sell online, leveraging the Net to build deeper relationships with their business partners," said Steven J. Kafka, e-business trade research analyst at Forrester. "After 2001, one-on-one business connections will taper off as firms more actively participate in e-marketplaces to connect with a wider universe of buyers and sellers."

Forrester also predicted that over the next five years, 45 percent to 75 percent of BTB e-commerce will migrate to e-marketplaces, which it described as industry sites that become virtual open markets for buyers and sellers.

The findings detailed in the Forrester report are similar to those found in other recent studies. In one report, GartnerGroup predicted that by 2004 "e-market makers" would account for more than $2.71 trillion in worldwide e-commerce sales, totaling 37 percent of the overall BTB market and 2.6 percent of worldwide sales transactions.


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