In association with Webigen Inc. and Sun Microsystems Hungary, GKIeNET conducts quarterly surveys on internet habits and the development of the electronic economy in Hungary. The following is a summary of the most crucial results of the 2001 first quarter survey.
Based on GKIeNET’s calculations, the volume of electronic commerce transactions between businesses (B2B) totaled 21 billion forints in 2000, while internet transactions between businesses and individual consumers (B2C) generated revenues of 1.1 billion forints, accounting for 0.02% of the total retail sales in 2000. In international comparison, this rate indicates that the Hungarian internet retail sector is 1-2 years behind Western Europe and 4-5 years behind the United States.
As with numerous other studies, GKIeNET Ltd. synthesizes the results of this survey in one index, called the GKIeNET-Webigen Internet Economy Index. This composite index, representing the expectations of one segment of the economy regarding internet use and e-commerce applications, is comprised of responses to four questions. The questions related to the following issues: expectations regarding internet sales and purchases, the impact of the internet on the market of the company as well as the utilization of the internet in the present and in the future. In the first quarter of 2001, the GKIeNET-Webigen Internet Economy Index was at 12.0. The index is made up of the following figures in the individual segments: large and medium-sized corporations 6.8, retail 7.3, tourism 8.2, financial sector 25.6. The figures for the individual categories reveal that the actors of the financial markets will be the key players in the internet economy in the short term, while the other three segments will wait it out for a while.
The following section summarizes the main results of the survey of large and medium-sized companies.
The responding 400 large and medium-sized companies primarily engaged in the industry, the construction sector and business services represented the sectors under investigation at 17% in terms of 1999 revenues and at 16% in terms of employment.
For the time being, as few as 16% of the responding companies reported that the internet and its business potential plays a role at the level of corporate strategy, but almost 50% indicated that they are looking to develop an internet strategy for the company within the next year or two. Internet business applications are predominant in the area of customer relationship management, while only a smaller percentage of companies use the internet for supplier relationship management and marketing. At present, online logistics and administration are the least frequently used fields of all internet business applications.
Approximately one-sixth of the responding firms have made purchases in an electronic marketplace; most of them purchased products from an international marketplace. The percentage of businesses planning an electronic purchase (an additional 26%) signals that there is strong interest in virtual procurement.
Internet advertising expenditures accounted for 2% of total marketing budgets in 2000, which is expected to rise to some extent this year.
Companies anticipate that the implementation of the electronic signature will have a modest positive impact on their business operations.
Companies are moderately satisfied with the number of available IT experts. The majority of firms intend to increase their number of IT professionals this year, by an estimated 12% on average.