A recent GartnerGroup report published by Techweb forecasts massive growth in business-to-business e-commerce in the coming years, pricing the 2004 worldwide market at $7.29 trillion - about 7 percent of total global sales transactions. Put in context, this would mean 50-fold growth compared to 1999's $145 billion market.
Leah Knight, principal analyst at GartnerGroup's e-Business Intelligence Services commented "The b-to-b explosion is imminent, fueled by a combustible mixture of investment financing, IT spending, and opportunistic euphoria that is being funneled into start-ups and brick-and-mortars' e-commerce initiatives. Collectively, they will drive short-term economic disruption but long-term business efficiency across industries and geographies."
According to the report, so-called e-market makers are expected to be the catalysts of growth -- developing b-to-b, Internet-based markets of buyers and sellers within a particular industry, region, or group.
GartnerGroup predicted that e-market makers would facilitate $2.71 trillion in e-commerce sales transactions in 2004, about 37 percent of the overall b-to-b market, and 2.6percent of worldwide sales transactions. The group points to Chemdex, VerticalNet, Altra Energy Technologies, PaperExchange.com, Instill, PlasticsNet.com, and Commerce One's Marketsite.net as examples of the best known e-market makers.
GartnerGroup said growth in the worldwide b-to-b market is set to explode, estimating its value it at $403 billion in 2000, $953 billion in 2001, $2.18 trillion in 2002, and $3.95 in 2003.