|Writing this in July 2000 we are seeing
estimates of the value of e-commerce going to $3 trillion by 2003. Of
that some 85% will be business 2 business with retail sales and
information provision making up the balance.
General Motors and Ford have announced
moving their supply chain onto the Internet at an estimated value of
$800 billion. This clearly shows that the estimates have credibility.
What this means in practical terms is
that by 2003 some 35% of the USA's Gross Domestic Product will be spent
over the Internet. The Internet with the Web and E-Mail is no longer an
option for businesses, it's a necessity.
The Internet affords you the
- Improve your customer service.
- Improve your communication with
customers and suppliers.
- Provide opportunities for new
- Provide positive Public Relations.
- Reduce costs and improve margins.
- Widen the potential customer base.
- Gives you an opportunity to deal
E-Mail is now an essential business tool
and for most has already taken over from the fax. The plain facts are
that most major companies now use E-Mail as a matter of course and if
you can't be contacted by E-Mail then you are likely adding to your
customers work load by having to deal with you by conventional means.
The web is having a significant impact on
the way we purchase goods and services. It is now very easy to
search web sites for information and then place orders through
them. It's frankly just plain stupid to think the web is not
having an impact on your business.
As you have seen above 35% of the USA's
GDP will be done over the web by 2003 so why on earth would you expect
your business not to be affected? Of that some 85% will be business 2
As we see other countries making great
strides to get onto the web we see countries like Korea with more
Internet users than the UK. What this means is that countries like
Korea will compete with other countries for International Mobile
Investments. So a new plant that could have been expected to come
to the UK might now go to Korea. The Internet is a global market
place and so countries like Scotland now have to compete with other
countries on a whole range of fronts. Only the other day Scotland
reported a drop in foreign tourists of some 11% while England saw an
increase. As travel is now one of the really big major growth
industries on the web it is easy to see that our web presence is now
critical. Such a drop in tourist numbers will make an impact on
local jobs. That means hotels and tourist attractions may well see a
drop in numbers leading to a cut in local staff. It means some tourist
capital projects might not get the go ahead leading to postponement of
contracts that local suppliers had been counting on.
We must learn to see the web as a
critical part of our communications and marketing and a contribution to
our own countries welfare.