Ecommerce expenditure in western Europe will reach $430 billion by 2003, and the largest chunk of that will be business to business sales, according to a new report from IDC.
In four years time, 60 per cent of the world's online consumers will reside outside of the US, and non US based ecommerce will explode to 46 per cent of total Web purchasing worldwide from 26 per cent in 1998.
In western Europe, however, the business to business market will be worth $367 billion, while the business to consumer sector will spend $63 billion. Expenditure in the Asia Pacific region, including Japan, will likewise surge to $72 billion from $2.7 billion.
But Anna Giraldo, ecommerce analyst at IDC, said that cultural differences within Europe would present a major challenge, particularly to US companies that wanted to create .uk and .de sites.
"Companies have to have a realistic sense of awareness of being in Europe. They have to understand the diversity. The US offers a uniformed market. There may be some cultural differences, but there is also consistency and the buying pattern is uniform," she explained.
Suppliers will also need to adjust their sites for those parts of Europe that may not be as advanced in using the Internet as the Nordic countries, she added.
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