Electronic commerce in Europe will be worth $30bn (£18.4bn) by 2001, according to Frank Gens, president of IDC, in an opening address to the E-commerce Forum starting today in Monaco.
While the enormous growth in e-commerce will represent strong growth for telcos, PC makers and ISPs, IDC believes only around half of e-commerce transactions will take place on PCs. A new generation of information appliances, set top boxes and Web-phones will take up a strong share with the operating system for these devices yet to be decided. Windows CE and Java are making a pitch, but they may not be the only solutions on offer, said Gens.
Most of current e-commerce in Europe is between businesses, but this is expected to change with the growth in online retail offerings.
The growth in e-commerce in Europe is likely to be above average for the rest of the world. IDC expects 120 million Europeans to be online by 2001 -- a fivefold increase on today's figure -- making e-commerce responsible for one percent of all world trade by this date.
More reports from the E-commerce Forum to follow.