B2B: Why it's the buzz and how to cash in

Jesse Berst, Editorial DirectorZDNet AnchorDeskYou've been through the e-commerce frenzy that produced the 15 pet stores, 18 beauty stores and 20 health sites. But if you were thinking of making a quick, easy kill in e-tail, forget it.

Jesse Berst, Editorial Director
ZDNet AnchorDesk

You've been through the e-commerce frenzy that produced the 15 pet stores, 18 beauty stores and 20 health sites. But if you were thinking of making a quick, easy kill in e-tail, forget it.

The e-tail pie was sliced too thin, and now we're in a consolidation period. E-tail sites are merging, laying off workers or shutting down. Click for more.

Wall Street and venture capitalists stay ahead of the game. And now they're putting their money on the frenzy surrounding business-to-business ecommerce. B2B simply involves a transaction from one business to another via the Net.

And if you want to get rich from B2B, better do it now. This segment is growing fast:

  • Money spent on B2B transactions already surpasses consumer transactions 10-1 (Aberdeen Group).
  • U.S. B2B is expected to experience 41% compound annual growth over the next five years (Yankee Group).
  • B2B is estimated to become a $7.29 trillion worldwide industry by 2004 (Gartner Group). Click for more.

B2B covers everything from auctions to aggregators to solution providers. But the three hottest areas are:

Procurement sites and services. Get multiple bids, approvals, purchase orders -- instantly. My previous Natural Born Killer, Works.com, is a good example. Click for more.

Marketplaces. These sites bring together buyers and sellers in a particular industry, affinity or geographic region. The Gartner Group expects this segment to account for 37% of the B2B space by 2004. They can be drivers like Commerce One's MarketSite. Or small like e-Steel, which brings together buyers and sellers in the steel industry.

Vertical portals (a k a vortals). Get all the news and contacts pertaining to your industry. VerticalNet is a good example. Click for more.

The Net is all about momentum and perception. And like it or not, right now it's focused on B2B. So forget that health and beauty site for pets you're planning.

Now tell us how you plan to leverage B2B.

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