Trading around the clock and around the world!

Written by Jennifer Stewart

US business-to-business e-commerce will hit $2.7 trillion in 2004 and more than 90% of firms interviewed described plans to buy and sell onrepparttar Internet, according to a recent Forrester Research study.

The study, "e-Marketplaces Boost B2B Trade," reports that B2B growth will be accelerated byrepparttar 109079 development of e-Marketplaces - new models for conducting e-commerce - such as auctions, exchanges, aggregators and bid systems. By 2004, Forrester expects these e-Marketplaces to capture 53% of all online business trade. Hand in hand with this development in B2B, isrepparttar 109080 estimate that Internet sales (business to customer) will top $1.35 trillion inrepparttar 109081 US byrepparttar 109082 year 2003. (Source: Masha E. Geller, MediaPost )

Many netrepreneurs have already taken steps to hitch their wagon to this rising star and have said goodbye torepparttar 109083 traditional shop front, and hello torepparttar 109084 cybermall.

A cybermall can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can sell to customers in every country inrepparttar 109085 world - if they have an Internet connection. Nielsen/NetRatings figures show that more and more people are connecting torepparttar 109086 Internet every month - inrepparttar 109087 US, 122.7 million people (aged 2 years and older) had access torepparttar 109088 Internet in January 2000. This had increased to 123.6 million inrepparttar 109089 first week of March 2000.

With a world population of 6 billion, it's easy to see why businesses are excited byrepparttar 109090 prospect of cybermalls.

Instead of battling withrepparttar 109091 rising costs of rent, staff wages, advertising, packing and shipping, and dealing withrepparttar 109092 problems of tracking down stock and suppliers - this new development in e-commerce allows an individual to set up a complete web-based business in less than 48 hours and receive commissions of 3% to 25% on all sales made fromrepparttar 109093 site.

One such cybermall is It aims to offer, "simplyrepparttar 109094 best virtual one-stop shop," according to CEO, John Freeman. "We should have completed a women's forum, chat line and a consumer contest byrepparttar 109095 third week of March," he says. This will complementrepparttar 109096 wide range of cyber stores already part ofrepparttar 109097 mall. "It's possible for customers to meet all their shopping needs from this one site," says Freeman, "from flowers and gifts, books and games, furniture and clothes to office supplies, financial services and banking, travel arrangements and auctions - there are even employment services at"

The inspiration for this concept dates back to 1997, when Freeman's company was developing and producing bespoke software and building websites; this was followed byrepparttar 109098 development of software and hardware to upgrade computer systems for Y2K. These products were certified byrepparttar 109099 consultant laboratories torepparttar 109100 UK Government,repparttar 109101 State Pentagon and companies such as GEC Marconi.

A Strategic Approach to e-Business

Written by Bob MacAvoy

Web technology can be seductive. It is all too easy to install a Web server, generate some flashy graphics and, bingo, you have an electronic version of your core business operations. Unfortunately, successfully transitioning your company to e-business a lot more complicated than that. E-business is not just about developing a Web site but rather changing your business model to adapt torepparttar new economy. Simply grafting a snazzy front-end on your current business is unlikely to take full advantage ofrepparttar 109078 opportunities offered byrepparttar 109079 e-business revolution and may in fact be a prescription for disaster.

The problem with this approach is that it doesn't addressrepparttar 109080 important issue of whether your current business model can be improved to take advantage of new e-business opportunities. For example, suppose you have regional distribution centers acrossrepparttar 109081 country. Without a doubt,repparttar 109082 Internet can speed communications between these distribution centers. But that overlooksrepparttar 109083 possibility thatrepparttar 109084 Web may make it possible to serverepparttar 109085 country from far fewer distribution centers or even that you need don't need regional centers at all any more. The nonstrategic approach to e-business also leaves a free path for a new market entrant to develop a more efficient channel structure that blows you out ofrepparttar 109086 water.

What you should be doing instead is to first develop a macro level business strategy that provides a road map for adapting your business torepparttar 109087 era of e-business. Just like developing a business strategy forrepparttar 109088 old economy, your e-business strategy should start by considering your current position inrepparttar 109089 market including strengths and weaknesses, products and distribution channels,repparttar 109090 challenge posed by competition, new opportunities inrepparttar 109091 market, etc. But atrepparttar 109092 same time you need to considerrepparttar 109093 opportunities and challenges posed byrepparttar 109094 Internet, such asrepparttar 109095 potential to interact directly with customers to streamline distribution channels as well asrepparttar 109096 competitive threat posed by new market entrants leveragingrepparttar 109097 Internet.

The next step is mapping a path to implement that strategy while puttingrepparttar 109098 primary emphasis on delivering a positive experience to your customers, channel partners andrepparttar 109099 others with whom you interact. Trying to avoid going downrepparttar 109100 blind alley of making incremental improvements to your existing business. For example, business units, with each targeting specific products and markets, may organize your company. In that case,repparttar 109101 individual business units are doubtless thinking about how they can optimize their own piece ofrepparttar 109102 pie rather thanrepparttar 109103 effect ofrepparttar 109104 e-business revolution onrepparttar 109105 entire company. Chances are, many of these units may be performingrepparttar 109106 same business processes in slightly different ways. In that case, there are probably serious opportunities of scale across those business units, such as usingrepparttar 109107 same technology to perform processes such as sales order processing, inventory or customer service. Taking advantage of these opportunities will require a big-picture perspective that requiresrepparttar 109108 involvement of top management to serve as an integrating force.

It's important that your e-business strategyrepparttar 109109 focus not onrepparttar 109110 needs of fiefdoms within your own company but rather onrepparttar 109111 experience ofrepparttar 109112 user of your system, whether it's a customer, general partner or employee that is interacting with you. One ofrepparttar 109113 most important areas is segmenting your strategy to addressrepparttar 109114 individual needs of different users. For example, a human resources Intranet should be subdivided so that employees are able to quickly get information on their benefits and compensation while human resources professionals are able to obtainrepparttar 109115 much more complex information that they need to do their jobs.

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