Sales over the Internet in Europe doubled during the past year, and European businesses are expected to further accelerate their online sales efforts over the next few years, according to a study released last week.
Of all corporate sales in Europe this year, 4 per cent were done over the Internet, compared to 2 per cent in 1998, according to the pan-European Electronic Commerce Research Report 1999 released last week by KPMG Consulting. In three years, 14 per cent of all transactions in Europe will take place online, the KPMG report predicted.
The survey forecasts total European Internet sales to reach $US288 billion this year, surging to $2 trillion by 2002, said Russell Fox, senior marketing manager at KPMG.
Based on a telephone survey conducted by KPMG Consulting in August and September, the report included responses from 357 European companies with annual sales of at least $300 million.
Internet sales were strongest in Scandinavian countries with 9 per cent of sales made over the Internet, and the UK, where online sales accounted for 6 per cent of all sales, KPMG said.
The percentage of respondents indicating none of their sales were made online dropped from 55 per cent last year to 37 per cent in 1999. The number of companies predicting that by 2002 they still will not be using the Internet in some form to make sales shrank dramatically to 7 per cent, KPMG said.
Most impressively, surveyed companies in Scandinavia believe the Internet will account for a quarter of all sales in 2002, KPMG said. Companies in the Benelux countries, Italy and the UK followed with predictions for strong growth in Internet transactions.
At the other end of the scale, German companies polled predicted online sales of only 12 per cent by 2002, with Switzerland bringing up the rear at 11 per cent of sales expected to be online, KPMG said.