Sector Survey

Izodia releases study on e-business adoption in the retail and distribution industry

Broomfield, CO  April 25, 2001  According to a global survey sponsored by Izodia, a B2B e-commerce service provider, retail and distribution companies around the world are less likely to adopt B2B initiatives than other industries, but are the most often to automate their entire supply chains when deploying e-commerce.

Respondents to the global survey, released today by Izodia, found that retail and distribution companies in the United Kingdom led efforts in deploying e-commerce programs with more than half indicating they had already implemented a B2B initiative.  That compares with only 32 percent of U.S. and 22 percent of German retail and distribution companies.

In addition, the survey found that the UK's retail and distribution sector was far more interested in exploring B2B e-commerce than their U.S. or German counterparts, where almost 20 percent of respondents said they had no immediate plans to deploy B2B initiatives.

Although the retail and distribution sector in general falls behind other sectors  such as manufacturing  in adopting B2B, the sector is the most likely to automate both the supply and procurement functions within their respective organizations. Sixty-seven percent of retail and distribution companies planned to automate their entire supply chains, compared with 60 percent in manufacturing and 59 percent in the finance sector.

Worldwide, the retail and distribution sector identified the ability to get value for the money, the ability to integrate with existing systems and the cost of B2B solutions as the highest areas of concern for e-commerce in the industry.

"Retail and distribution companies have the highest instance of automating both procurement and supply-side e-commerce solutions, as opposed to just one or the other.  We believe this sector understands the benefits of moving up and down the supply chain and recognizes that no single company is just a buyer or a seller," said Anthony Stepanski, CEO of Izodia.  "In particular, retail and distribution companies are more concerned with logistics being incorporated into the supply chain due to the nature of their business."

Independent information technology research consultant Vanson Bourne conducted telephone interviews with 360 executives in companies with annual revenues below $700 million in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Holland and South Africa. Companies equally represented three key industry segments: manufacturing, retail and distribution and finance.

Participants were asked about their company's adoption of B2B e-commerce, the benefits they expected to derive and the timetables for which they expected to implement B2B initiatives. Participants also were asked to outline their top priorities when faced with implementing B2B e-commerce ventures and their expectations for return on investment. A copy of the full survey report is available upon request.