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Nearly 2.8 Million Small Businesses To Test eCommerce Waters By 2003.

eCommerce is being embraced as a legitimate way for US small business to expand and prosper. According to new research from IDC, the number of US small businesses engaged in ecommerce will increase from 400,000 in 1998 to almost 2.8 million in 2003. Small businesses that recognized ecommerce potential and have made the necessary infrastructure investments are well positioned to succeed, while those who are resistant to change face a formidable challenge.

Overall, most small businesses have annual revenues less than $5 million; however, IDC found that average annual revenues of companies that regard the Internet as important are significantly higher than those that rated it less important. "The Internet is a key component to success for small businesses," says Merle Sandler, senior analyst for IDC's Small Business program. "Consumers have been the focus of small business ecommerce activity, but we are seeing a shift toward business-to-business ecommerce in small businesses of all sizes."

Key findings:

* Of 7.5 million small businesses, 11 percent were engaged in ecommerce activity in 1999

* Only one-third of Internet-enabled small businesses has a home page, but intentions are high.

* Small businesses profiting from the Internet are more involved in business and other services, manufacturing, and real estate that their non-ecommerce-enabled counterparts.

* Small businesses that regard Internet-related revenue as important tend to have been in business for a shorter period of time than other small businesses.

* Fewer than 20 percent of small businesses are selling online (taking orders over the Internet or by phone or fax).
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Title Annotation:Industry Trend or Event
Comment:Nearly 2.8 Million Small Businesses To Test eCommerce Waters By 2003.(Industry Trend or Event)
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 12, 2000
Words:253
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