markets can be denied with an error probability of 0.001%. Thus, efficient establishments
reported more often that IT has a high importance for their strategic goals than inefficient ones.
Online business has different impacts on German firms, as Figure 18 indicates. Important
impacts (above average) are the improvement of internal processes (41.8%), the external
improvement of customer service (35.5%), and widened sales at the national (31.5%) and
international levels (28%). Comparatively low impact is reported for cost oriented
improvements, e.g., inventory costs decreased (6.2%) or procurement costs decreased (11.2%).
In total, positive impacts of online business are reported with 22.95%.
FIGURE 18 Impact of Doing Business Online; Percent Indicating Impact is a Great Deal
Internal processes more efficient
Customer service improved
Sales area widened
International sales increased
Competitive position improved
Staff productivity increased
Coordination with suppliers improved
Procurement costs decreased
Inventory costs decreased
Source. CRITO Global E Commerce Survey, 2002; weighted by the total number of establishments.
As Table 25 indicates, the number of distribution channels increased significantly in all
industries in comparison to the global sample, with the greatest difference being observed in the
retail/wholesale sector. Most establishments use online business not as a substitute, but as a
complement to existing channels. While the number of suppliers or competitors increased less
than the global sample in the manufacturing and retail/wholesale industries, a significant increase
is observable in the banking/insurance industry. Again, the finance sector seems to be more
affected by increasing competition and changing customer requests than other industries. Due to
this, the German finance sector is, in contrast to the global finance average, even more affected
by increasing competition than other countries.