A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) claims that the value of the internet economy within G20 countries will double by 2016. The report, backed by Google, suggests that ever increasing mobile access will be the main driving force behind growth. It also names the UK as one of the most advanced e-commerce economies.
The increase in mobile access is down to a massive growth in the availability of cheap smartphones, devices which allow a level of mobile connectivity never before seen. Technology giant IBM has predicted by 2015 there will be one trillion devices connected to the internet, and with the rise of smartphones it’s not hard to see why. Whilst a few years ago, a phone with internet access and a desktop-class web browser would have cost hundreds of pounds, they can now be found for much less. In 2016, almost 80% of internet users will access the web through a mobile phone.
The increasing dominance of the internet can be seen as the proliferation of a new utility; much in the same way as water or electricity, the internet has become a fundamental part of the daily lives of many people on the planet. The Boston Consulting Group envisions a future where web access will truly break down international and corporate borders, allowing companies and customers all over the world to interact on a bigger scale than before.
Such a rise in connectivity has also led to a rise in awareness, and vice versa. The BGC’s researchers say that every household already researches about £2000 worth of goods online before buying them offline. People are aware of technology and how it can benefit them, and that means it’s not good enough for businesses to stand by and watch. Google’s chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, says: “Understanding the economic potential of the web should be an urgent priority for leaders… [with] a powerful case for countries and companies to get online and reap the rewards of an age of data,”
Is your business online? Are you making the most of the web? If not, it might be about time you looked into it.