B2B Can Grow with E-Commerce

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 29, 2005 | Go to article overview

B2B Can Grow with E-Commerce


Byline: By SION BARRY Western Mail

The way e-commerce helps businesses to attract and transact with customers is well documented, and many small and medium sized Welsh businesses are already promoting and trading on-line.

This type of activity can be classified as business 2 consumer (B2C), and as the name suggests it covers the undertakings made by businesses to trade with consumers.

Obviously the progress made to date by many Welsh businesses, in introducing applications such as consumer-targeted websites is positive, and the benefits are proving excellent, but there are further stages of e-commerce which have the potential for an even greater impact on many individual businesses and for Wales as a whole.

According to the Martin Parfett, director of Research at e-Commerce Innovation Centre, 'The B2B side of e-commerce has the potential for far greater impact on the Welsh economy.'

Sometimes known as 'second generation e-commerce', B2B requires fundamental changes to the ways in which business is carried out. The basis for B2B e-commerce is well established, one of the most well known applications being electronic data interchange (EDI) which has been around for many years, but as the internet has evolved into a critical business tool, the number of B2B offered solutions has rapidly increased.

E-markets are a prime example of B2B e-commerce, here third-party providers offer a raft of e-commerce solutions that for example include on-line auctions and e-catalogues. One of the strengths of e-markets is the way in which they are developed to specifically suit the needs of particular sectors. For this reason no two e-markets are identical, and they can even be established as a closed group of users for a very specific industry sector, for example component suppliers in the automotive sector. …

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