E-commerce's mixed results

In most European countries, the volume of Internet and other e-commerce sales transactions has risen since 2004, with Denmark, the UK, Ireland and France reporting the highest shares. The increase in the share of e-commerce sales between 2003 and 2006 has been sharpest in Denmark, with 10 percentage points, Norway (8), Portugal (7) and Spain (5). Ireland saw a slight drop in its volume, albeit from a high base.
Click here for larger graph.Australian business income from orders for goods and services received via the Internet rose sharply from 0.8% of total income to 2.2% between 2001-02 and 2004-05. Canada reports an increase in Internet sales as a proportion of total business operating revenue from 0.3% to 1.3% for 2001-05. Japan and the US show increasing growth too. In the US there was steady growth in retail e-commerce sales, with a twofold increase between the last quarter of 2002 and the last quarter of 2006, while Japan’s business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales rose from around 0.5% of total B2C sales in 2000 to just over 2% in 2004.These are not high numbers. Goods not suited to Internet sales, security concerns and legal issues are the commonly reported reasons. Total B2C plus B2B Internet commerce still only represents 2.2% of turnover in Australia, 1.3% in Canada and ranges from near zero to 17% in Europe.See OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2007, ISBN 9789264037885 at www.oecdbookshop.org ©OECD Observer No 268 June 2008

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