E-business hares outstrip the tortoises

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Most of America’s successful companies have already embraced e-business… and are growing faster, and achieving higher productivity than their counterparts. Moreover, nearly half those involved in e-business say they will achieve payback on their investment by the end of the year. So, given this rosy scenario, is there still an opportunity for latecomers?

Maybe not. CEOs of e-business companies are planning a big barrier to entry – a 26% increase in their investment next year. These are highlights from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ latest ‘Trendsetter Barometer’.

E-business has been very, very good to the 74% of America’s companies that have already jumped in. This includes the 42% completing direct sales over the net, expecting to generate 12.1% of this year’s revenues online; and the additional 32% that will achieve 16.9% of their revenues from showing their wares online and completing the transaction offline.

The Trendsetter companies involved in e-business are enjoying a 14% productivity edge, with revenue-per-employee of $120,600 versus just $106,000 for the others. Moreover, by the end of this year, 45% of e-businesses expect breakeven on their cumulative investment.

Not content with a racing car when a rocket is available, Trendsetter CEOs are planning to up the ante on their e-business investments over the next 12 months. Overall, they expect a jump from 7.2% of operating budget to 9.1%, an increase of 26%.

These leaders see e-business as a way to tap increased revenue through exposure to a greater number of prospective buyers. Given the expectations of direct sellers, it’s likely that more indirect sellers will be asking themselves how quickly they can go direct.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Trendsetter Barometer is compiled with assistance from the opinion and economic research firm of BSI Global Research, Inc. PricewaterhouseCoopers is the world’s largest professional services organisation, drawing on the knowledge and skills of more than 150,000 people in 150 countries.

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