Report: E-commerce to hit £1.67tr by 2004

Forrester Research spotlights the emergence of many-to-many marketplaces online, which it sees becoming dominant for businesses by 2004

Business-to-business e-commerce is set to soar to staggering levels in the next few years due to the emergence of new kinds of online marketplaces, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

Forrester has more than doubled its previous predictions for e-commerce growth, now saying the business-to-business e-commerce market in the US alone will be worth $2.7tr (£1.67tr) by 2004. Forrester previously predicted the market, currently valued at $55bn, would hit $1.3tr in four years.

The optimism is fuelled by the growth of new kinds of online marketplaces, including auctions, aggregators, bid systems, and exchanges, which have become immensely popular in the last year or two. These new commerce strategies will capture 53 percent of all online business trade by 2004, the research firm believes.

"US businesses are universally preparing to buy and sell online, leveraging the Net to build deeper relationships with their business partners," said Steven J. Kafka, eBusiness trade research analyst at Forrester, in a statement. "But the rampant growth of online trade through these one-to-one business connections will taper off after 2001, as firms more actively participate in eMarketplaces to connect with a wider universe of buyers and sellers."

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