e-Commerce Strategies for Business-to-Business Service Firms in the Global Environment

Good, David J.; Schultz, Roberta J.
June 2002
American Business Review;Jun2002, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p111
Academic Journal
The future is bright for online marketing, especially in service markets where buyers and sellers are motivated to cut costs, increase efficiency, reduce delivery time, and cultivate strong, vibrant client-seller relationships. In this environment for example, in an attempt to deliver quality products at a low cost, service marketers will increasingly look for methods to perform client selection, qualification, and selling through online placement, while developing methods to strengthen customer relationships. Faced with the opportunity to accomplish such key activities, electronic commerce has been forecasted to increase in activity from $109 billion in 1999 to $1.2 trillion in 2003 (Forrester Research, 1999) to as high as $7.3 trillion by 2004 injust the U.S. (Gartner Group, 2000). Yet, these numbers only provide a fraction of global transactions by 2004, which are predicted to be $105 trillion (Gartner Group, 2000). As a comparison to other markets, the Yankee Group estimates electronic commerce for the business-to-business market will account for 9 percent of total business sales and will be worth seven times the consumer market (Silverstein, 1999). Given the enormous magnitude of online markets, it is obviously critical for service marketers who concentrate on business-to-business markets (B2B's) to examine and understand the role that electronic commerce plays in their next generation of strategies. For this reason, many discussions are now noting the increasingly critical role marketers have in this segment (e.g., Emerson and Grimm, 1999), as opportunities develop for strategies that link business-to-business service markets (e.g., banking, insurance, health care) and electronic commerce. In addition, the globalization of services increases as many service applications are distance and geography insensitive (Wymbs, 2000). To this end, this article addresses the specific benefits that can be strategically applied specifically by business-to-business...


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