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Business-to-business electronic commerce becomes a major force
During this year's holiday shopping season, electronic commerce took center stage as millions of consumers discovered online retailers such as bookseller Amazon.com Inc.
But when it comes to dollar volume, Internet retailing is dwarfed by business-to-business electronic commerce - businesses selling goods and services online to other businesses.
About $48 billion changed hands electronically between businesses last year, according to Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research.
By contrast, Internet shoppers spent just $3.4 billion in November and December, according to a survey by New York-based Jupiter Communications Co. and Greenwich, Conn.-based NFO Interactive.
And don't expect online retailing to eclipse business-to-business electronic commerce anytime soon. Analysts say the growth in what's become known as "electronic B-to-B" doesn't show signs of slowing down.
"You're definitely going to see growth on the business-to-business …