#thevortex: B2B e-commerce, a growing area for competitiveness and employment

by Andrea Boscaro founder of The Vortex

Italy has recently approved a major law modifying the safeguards an employeed is entitled to: as in the Danish models, such guarantees are progressive over the years and, together with parallel tax credits, are meant to stimulate a stagnant labour market and a situation where workers were strongly into a protected area and into a non-protected grey zone.

The lack of jobs is once again dealt with by passing a new law and injecting significant resources in the system while limited attention is paid to help labour demand and supply to meet thanks to attive policies supporting the creation of skilled workers in the  growing area of digital technologies for instance.

The recent Digital Economy and Society Index provided by the European Commission has shown that Italy is among the last 5 countries both for infrastructure and for human capital: an enormous effort is then to be put in such a field to increase the availability of fast connection and trained workers for the SMEs throughout the country.

Italy is rich of small and medium companies with limited possibility to invest in training: at the same time, such players are mainly in the business-to-business areas where digital media appear less crucial compared to models having to deal with end consumers.

Such common place is wrong: companies with limited salesforce and having to expand their customers portfolio abroad cannot rely any longer only to personal connections and traditional marketing tactics like fairs and catalogues: they need to develop a cost-efficient digital strategy.

An interesting Accenture research on business to business e-commerce shows that 49% of corporate buyers seek online transactions and prefer business-to-consumer sites where online procurement is not available by their traditional counterparts.
In a country where only 6% of companies sell online but 35% buy online, it’s quiete impressive how e-commerce can be a disruptive strategy.

The research outlines how 83% of European business-to-business companies are implementing some sort of online inititative: Italian SMEs cannot lag behind and such activities can also pave the way for employment opportunities as long as the education system can foster the related skills, particularly in the younger workers.

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