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
41.8%
Customer service improved
35.5%
Sales area widened
31.5%
International sales increased
28.0%
Competitive position improved
23.1%
Sales increased
19.1%
Staff productivity increased
18.6%
Coordination with suppliers improved
14.5%
Procurement costs decreased
11.2%
22.95%
Inventory costs decreased
6.2%
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
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.  
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