Statistics Explained

E-business integration

Data extracted in September 2020.

Planned article update: May 2022.

Highlights

In 2019, 36% of EU enterprises used enterprise resource planning software applications.

In 2019, the percentage of EU enterprises using enterprise resource planning ranged from 30% for small enterprises to 80% for large enterprises.

[[File:E-business integration 2020.xlsx]]

Enterprises having ERP (enterprise resource planning) software package in 2019

ICT for e-business integration

This article presents recent statistics on the information and communication technologies (ICT) used by enterprises in the European Union (EU). ICT has fast become an integral part of enterprise functioning and its extensive and intensive use, combined with new ways of using the internet efficiently, is decisive for the way that enterprises run their business, organise internal communication, share information with business partners and communicate with customers.

In this context, the main results of the 2019 survey on EU enterprises' presence on the internet and the use of ERP and CRM software applications are presented.

Full article

Adoption of e-business: highlights

In 2019, 77 % of EU enterprises reported having a website, 36 % used enterprise resource planning (ERP) software applications and 33 % used customer relationship management (CRM).

Table 1: Enterprises adopting e-business applications, 2019
(% enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ciweb) and (isoc_eb_iip)


As shown in Figure 1, the share of enterprises with a website (77 %) grew slightly in 2019 compared with 2017 (76 %). The use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software remained at the same level in 2019 as in 2017, while the share of enterprises using customer relationship management (CRM) software recorded a slight decline by 1 percentage point.

Figure 1: Adoption of e-business applications in enterprises, EU-27, 2017 and 2019 (% of enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ciweb) and (isoc_eb_iip)

The adoption of e-business applications varies among enterprise size classes. Figure 2 shows that the gap between small and large enterprises is reportedly bigger for those using the ERP or CRM software applications than for those having a website. The percentage of enterprises with a website ranged from 74 % for small enterprises to 94 % for large enterprises, but from 30 % to 80 % respectively for those using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and from 30 % to 62 % for the enterprises using customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Figure 2: Enterprises adopting e-business applications, by size class, EU-27, 2019 (% of enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ciweb) and (isoc_eb_iip)

Enterprises' presence on the internet

Use of websites is still slightly growing

Enterprises consider it important to be visible on the internet. Consequently, enterprises’ websites increasingly offer various functionalities, such as online ordering, product catalogues and information, order tracking, customisation of products, links to social media etc. Importantly, the use of a website involves a more active role than just having an internet connection. Some 77 % of enterprises reported having a website. As shown in Figure 1, a slight increase can be observed compared to 2017 (by 1 percentage point). In 2019, the shares of enterprises reporting to have a website ranged from over 90 % in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden to less than 60 % in Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Enterprises having a website, 2019 (% of enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ciweb)

Functionalities of enterprises' websites

Description of goods or services and price lists was the most common functionality of enterprises' websites

As shown in Figure 4, more than half (52 %) of the enterprises in the EU used their website to provide description of goods or services and price lists. For more than a third of enterprises (36 %) the purpose of the website was also to establish a link to the their social media profiles. This functionality was particularly significant for large enterprises, where 63 % reported that their website provides reference to their social media presence compared with 33 % for small enterprises. Almost one fifth (19 %) of EU enterprises used their website as a direct sales channel and offered the functionality for online ordering, reservation or booking. The possibility for order tracking was provided on the websites of 9 % of enterprises.

Figure 4: Functionalities provided by enterprises' websites, EU-27, 2019 (% of enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ciweb)

Enterprise resource planning (ERP)

More than one in three enterprises uses enterprise resource planning software applications

Internal e-business integration refers to sharing information electronically and automatically between different business functions within an enterprise as opposed to external integration, in which other business partners are involved. Internal integration potentially streamlines and boosts the efficiency of an enterprise. Integration is implemented in various forms. One of them is data linking between various software applications, using a common database. The use of a single modular software application, enterprise resource planning (ERP), is another commonly-used alternative. ERP software applications aim to facilitate the flow of information and offer the potential to integrate internal and external management of information across several functions of an enterprise. A characteristic of ERP is that it is delivered in ‘modules’ that typically integrate processes relevant to planning, purchases, marketing, sales, customer relationship, finance and human resources. The percentage of EU enterprises that used ERP software applications reached 36 % in 2019, this percentage remained unchanged compared with 2017 (Figure 1). This is mainly due to the low adoption of ERP software applications by small enterprises (Figure 2). A comparison across the different economic sectors shows that, in 2019, the majority of enterprises in information and communication sector used ERP (51 %). Shares of enterprises using ERP higher than 40 % were registered also in manufacturing (47 %), in wholesale and retail trade and in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (43 % each). The lowest rates of adoption of ERP software were recorded in accommodation (27 %), transport and storage (27 %) and construction (22 %) (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Enterprises having ERP software package, by economic activity, EU-27, 2019 (% enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_eb_iip)


In 2019, more than half of the enterprises in Belgium and Denmark used an ERP software package to share information between different functional areas. On the other hand, ERP software was used by less than a quarter of enterprises in Romania, Bulgaria (23 % each) and Hungary (14 %) (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Enterprises having ERP software package, 2019 (% of enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_eb_iip)


Customer relationship management (CRM)

Almost one in three enterprises uses operational customer relationship management

Enterprises streamline their marketing efforts and target their customers to maximise business potential. For this specific purpose, they use software applications for managing information about their customers, i.e. customer relationship management (CRM) applications. It is believed that the adoption of CRM increases marketing and sales performance by improving customer service and customer relationships. Enhancements come, for instance, from providing user-friendly mechanisms for receiving complaints, identifying potential problems before they occur, in general, by facilitating communication with the customer and by anticipating customer preferences. These technology-enabled improvements lead to long-term customer satisfaction and can ensure increased customer loyalty, decreasing marketing costs and increasing sales. The share of EU enterprises using CRM stood at 33 % and recorded a slight decline by 1 percentage point in 2019 compared to 2017 (Figure 1).

The use of CRM software applications to capture, store and make available information about the enterprise's customers to other business functions is described as operational CRM. As shown in Figure 7, in 2019 some 32 % of EU enterprises reported using operational CRM. Furthermore, a CRM software application can be used to analyse customer information to identify patterns of customer preferences and behaviour (analytical CRM). This information is essentially used for marketing purposes, such as sales promotions that are effective in creating interest in a product or for optimising market penetration through the use of alternative distribution channels. In 2019, some 19 % of EU enterprises used analytical CRM for such sophisticated purposes. The share registered for large enterprises (43 %) was almost three times higher than the share recorded for small enterprises (16 %) (Figure 7).


Figure 7: Enterprises using Customer Relationship Management (CRM), by size class, EU-27, 2019 (% of enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_eb_iip)

As regards the activity of enterprises, in 2019 the adoption levels of analytical CRM were much lower than those of operational CRM. The smallest difference between the shares of enterprises using analytical CRM and operational CRM was recorded in both the accommodation sector and the retail trade sector (32 % to 40 % and 22 % to 30 % respectively, see Figure 8).

Figure 8: Enterprises using Customer Relationship Management, by economic activity, EU-27, 2019 (% of enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_eb_iip)


Figure 9 presents the adoption levels of analytical CRM and operational CRM in the Member States. The highest shares of enterprises using operational CRM were recorded in the Netherlands (55 %), Belgium (45 %) and Germany (43 %). Analytical CRM was used most again in the Netherlands and also in Finland (26 % both), Belgium, Ireland and Malta (25 % each).

Figure 9: Enterprises using Customer Relationship Management, 2019 (% of enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_eb_iip)



Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

The data in this article are based on the results of the 2017 and 2019 surveys on ICT usage and e-commerce in enterprises. The statistics were obtained from enterprise surveys conducted by national statistical authorities in both years.

In 2019, 153 500 out of 1.48 million enterprises in the EU-27 were surveyed. Of the 1.48 million enterprises, approximately 83 % were enterprises with 10-49 persons employed (small), 14 % with 50-249 (medium) and 3 % with 250 or more (large).

Data in some tables are shown as ‘:’ and refer to data that are unavailable, unreliable or confidential. Unreliable data are included in the calculation of European aggregates.

The observation statistical unit is the enterprise, as defined in Council Regulation 696/93 of 15 March 1993. The survey covers enterprises with at least 10 persons employed. Economic activities correspond to the classification NACE Revision 2. The sectors covered are manufacturing, electricity, gas and steam, water supply, construction, wholesale and retail trades, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, transportation and storage, accommodation and food service activities, information and communication, real estate, professional, scientific and technical activities, administrative and support activities and repair of computers and communication equipment. Enterprises are broken down by size: small (10-49 persons employed), medium (50-249 persons employed) and large enterprises (250 or more persons employed).

Context

ICT has fast become an integral part of enterprise functioning and its extensive and intensive use, combined with new ways of accessing and using the internet efficiently is decisive for the way that enterprises run their business, organise internal communication, share information with business partners and communicate with customers. In this context enterprises are particularly concerned with their presence on the internet via their websites and use increasingly ERP and CRM software applications for the organisation of their internal business processes.

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ICT usage in enterprises (isoc_e)

Summary of EU aggregates (isoc_ci_eu_en2)
Websites and functionalities (isoc_ciweb)
E-business (isoc_eb)
Integration of internal processes (isoc_eb_iip)

Notes