Europe: an unexpected picture in payments

European companies continue to invest in e-commerce, despite the threat of recession. This is evidenced by the results of the study “e-Europe: an unexpected picture”, conducted by Accenture.

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60% of executives surveyed stated their intention to increase its investment in e-business by an average of 15% over the next 12 months. 50% expect to get more out of its advanced wireless commerce for three years.

Grounds for optimism, compared to last year, significantly changed. In today’s highly competitive companies seek to improve the efficiency of its operations, introducing e-commerce operations in the back office, logistics, sales and marketing.

The main goal is not to attract new customers, and strengthening relationships with existing ones by providing better services. 75% of respondents plan to upgrade their services in the next three years.

“For many it may be a surprise that e-commerce in Europe is in full swing – said Rosemary O’Mahony, managing partner of Accenture Information Technology in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. – Against the backdrop of economic recession European companies use e-commerce to maintain its competitive position and to ensure future success. ”
Change and development

The fourth annual survey from the “e-Europe”, surveyed more than 800 executives from 25 countries in Europe, Asia and the USA. For the first time since the beginning of the economic crisis seriously analyzed the ratio of senior management to e-commerce.

In the new circumstances, the attitude changed markedly. A year ago, 74% of respondents stated that the main reason for investing in e-commerce for them is to maintain competitiveness. Today the figure is 54%. Most companies are trying to optimize existing capabilities. Many say that the implementation of the projects they started to take longer than expected.

E-commerce has become an important tool in the arsenal of strategic European companies. Leaders declare all its deeper penetration: from marketing and sales departments of purchasing, logistics and training. Contrary to the doubts about the feasibility of using B2B, European companies have doubled their activity in this field.

The number of executives who report successful projects in the field of e-commerce has increased over the year from 34% to 51%. Two-thirds of respondents agreed that the e-commerce increases the benefits of large companies. About half believe that it increases the level of concentration in the industry.

According to the study, a significant “economies of scale” was achieved by large organizations in critical areas such as marketing, branding and investment in software. Much attention is paid to entrepreneurship and flexibility, once considered important only for new companies.

Although the leaders of the European companies are seriously concerned about the issues of consolidation and competitiveness, they are planning to introduce new forms of e-commerce in the near future. 49% plan to use a wireless commerce, 24% – and 25% of the voice – television commerce in the next three years.

Significant growth is expected in the field of “silent” commerce. This use of RFID chips to track the movement of objects within the organization or all the way for movement of the supply chain.

83% of executives expect from this kind of technology more efficient than those from conventional “wired” e-commerce. The study showed that soon it will be appropriate to speak of “ubiquitous” commerce (uCommerce).

Most managers believe that within three years, Europe should take a leading position in wireless commerce. In other areas (TV, voice, and “noiseless” commerce, and traditional e-commerce), they do not expect to overtake the United States, although the gap has been reduced to one year.
E-commerce in Russia

The study was first conducted a survey of Russian leaders. Sample can not be considered representative: interviewed executives of large companies in major industrial cities with the highest rates of Internet penetration. The purpose – to find out about the most “advanced” of Russian business to the potential of electronic commerce.

It was assumed that the future of e-commerce in Russia can be largely judged by the mood prevailing in the “Island of Growth”, which signals they give the rest of society. It was found that progressive businessmen realize the strategic importance of e-commerce and are ready now to experiment with its features.

60% of respondents said that the welfare of Russia depends on how quickly and widely implemented to e-commerce. 37% reported that they already carry out projects in the field and give them a great value.

67% plan to increase investment in e-commerce during the current year. With 37% (more than in the other countries included in the survey) said they got tired of the implementation of such projects and can not assess the real impact on them. The last figure is not surprising: many Russian companies are initiating electronic initiatives, having elaborated the information technology strategy that will support the business strategy of the company.

Currently, the main scope of e-commerce in Russia – sales and marketing, though it has begun its penetration into the purchasing and logistics, personnel management.

Russian leaders who participated in the survey, with significant interest to the capabilities of B2B. More than 20% said they already work on electronic trading platforms. 50% plan to use them in the near future.
About the study

The survey was a 840 telephone interviews, which were conducted by an independent international market research agency Opinion Leader Research in June and July 2001, the native language of the respondents. The respondents were managers of companies from 25 countries including 21 European and non-European 4.

30 interviews were held in each of the European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK. Another 30 were held in South Africa, and 60 – in India, Japan and the United States.
Main results

Despite clear signs of an economic slowdown, business leaders say the increase of investment in e-commerce over the next 12 months, seeing it as a means to maintain their competitive position and to ensure future success.

E-commerce has become an important tool in the arsenal of the strategic management of European companies that declare all its deeper penetration: from marketing and sales in the area of ​​procurement, logistics, and personnel work.

Despite doubts about the appropriateness of B2B commerce, European companies have doubled their activity in this field.

More and more managers reported an increase in successful projects in the field of electronic commerce. Two-thirds believe that the use of e-commerce improves primarily large companies. Significant economies of scale was achieved by large organizations in critical areas such as marketing, branding and investment in software.

In the next three years we will see the use of new forms of electronic commerce (wireless, voice and television commerce). Significant growth is expected in the field of “silent” commerce (the use of RFID chips to track the movement of objects within the organization or all the way for movement of the supply chain). Many of the respondents expect the introduction of such technologies a greater effect than that of the “wired” e-commerce.

The study showed that soon it will be appropriate to speak of “ubiquitous” commerce (uCommerce).

Managers of European companies are still skeptical that Europe can become a leader in the new forms of e-commerce, although the results of the study suggest closing the gap with the U.S. and 1 year.

Posted by Roman Mikhaelov

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