Virtual Business Transactions Absent on Internet

HANOVER, GERMANY — The Internet has thus far not stood a chance against telephones and fax
machines when it comes to closing business deals in German companies. This
was shown by a survey taken in 200 firms which was presented on Monday at
the Hannover fair in Hannover, Germany by the online subsidiary of the
market researcher Emnid.

In the B-to-B area, the carrying out of complete
business transactions via the Internet has not yet taken hold to the degree
that was predicted in the past. This was the result of the study
commissioned by the Hamburg-based company Wer liefert was GmbH. The
Internet enjoys great popularity in the search for information, but when it
comes to making contact and placing orders, buyers still turn to the fax
machine and telephone.

In the “Virtual B-to-B Market Places” study, Emnid examined the acceptance
of the Internet and business transactions over the Web. After the initial
study in the fall of last year, decision-makers from companies with between
six and 1000 employees were interviewed again. “The results show that by far
not all business processes have been transferred to the Internet,” said
Frank Wagner from Emnid at the presentation of the study at the “Power of
Industry” fair in Hannover. According to this, the Internet is used mainly
in the search for new suppliers and products. These motives were named 42
percent of the time and are undisputedly in first place. Participants even
gave the aspect of researching products a higher degree of usefulness than
communication via e-mail or the search for industry-specific information.

In total, the procurement volume available to new suppliers stands at 30
percent. The remaining volume is already taken up by basic agreements and
fixed company suppliers.

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