The paradox continues: businesses don’t want to sell on-line but they sure want to buy

by Canadian Shipper

If the drop in the number of businesses selling on-line is an indication of declining confidence in the Internet as sales channel, it’s certainly not reflected in corporate Canada’s appetite for buying on the Internet.

While the proportion of businesses selling on-line was lower in 2000, the percentage of Canadian businesses purchasing goods or services over the Internet was higher. Eighteen percent of firms bought goods or services over the Internet, up from 14% in 1999, according to Statistics Canada’s Survey of Electronic Commerce and Technology, 2000.

The proportion of businesses purchasing over the Internet advanced in all sectors, except for holding companies and businesses in forestry, logging and support activities.

Among businesses that did not buy or sell over the Internet, 56% believed that their goods or services did not lend themselves to Internet transactions. Thirty-six percent preferred to maintain their current business model. Smaller proportions of these enterprises felt that security was a concern (14%), or that the cost of development and maintenance was too high (12%).

While the survey focussed on Internet-based transactions, businesses can sell or purchase goods over non-Internet proprietary EDI networks. Overall, 10% of enterprises used EDI not on the Internet in 2000. The use of non-Internet EDI networks was highest in private sector health care services (23%), finance and insurance (18%), utilities (17%), wholesale trade (14%) and manufacturing (14%).

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality for this release, contact Greg Peterson (613-951-3592, or, Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division.

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