Regarding the mode of e-commerce utilisation, this can be based on the research and survey findings of e-commerce adoption in 2002 and 2003 published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, European Commission, National Statistics of the United Kingdom, University of California and Census and Statistics Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
In general, online shopping is most popular in the United States and European countries, in particular the United Kingdom and Germany. Enterprises in the European Union member states tend to be active in adopting e-procurement and participating in e-marketplace transactions, as well as exchanging business and product information through the Internet with their business partners, suppliers and customers. Among the firms in the United Kingdom and United States, popular e-commerce utilisation includes the use of e-mail and electronic data interchange (EDI), establishment of website and intranet/extranet, as well as electronic fund transfer and payment.
As regards the Mainland, some enterprises in the manufacturing, distribution and financial sectors have set up websites and extranets and adopted EDI. Exchange of operational data through the Internet with their customers and suppliers is also quite common. In Hong Kong, receipt of goods, services and information through electronic means has been the most commonly cited e-commerce utilisation among enterprises. Some firms have also offered product and service information through their websites, and sold their products and services through various electronic means.