Consumer electronic commerce is within a year of becoming a reality in Europe, according to industry analyst firm Dataquest.
Company analyst Petra Gartzen will tell attendees at Dataquest's annual European Predicts conference, being held in Paris this week, that although the European e-commerce market has been lagging behind the US, it is gradually picking up and should hit critical mass in the next 12 months.
Gartzen claimed that the explosive growth in consumers connecting to the Internet over the last year should continue through the millennium, with 35 million PCs in Europe already connected.
"European consumer e-commerce is on its way. At the moment it has hit around the 12% mark in the UK and Germany and you need at least 20% to make e-commerce a viable distribution channel," she noted.
Although European consumer e-commerce has yet to catch up with the US, Gartzen said Europe is now almost level with the US in the business to business e-commerce arena.
"The business to business e-commerce market was very small last year world wide, with mainly pilot projects. We need some good European examples and this will happen during the course of this year," she said.
New products are also coming onto the market that will help this takeoff in ecommerce, she noted. "Technologies such as (XML) will make this a reality," she said.
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