More Than Half of Net Users Go Online for Business

Business users will account for 54 percent of all Internet user during 1999, according to eMarketer’s eUser & Usage Report. The report defines business users as those who devote more than half their time on the Web to work-related activity.

Based on eMarketer’s estimate of an active US Net user population of 58 million in 1999, 54 percent, or 31.4 million, are business users versus the 26.6 million (46 percent) who access the Web mainly for personal reasons. In 2002, total active Net users will increase to 88 million, representing 49.3 million (56 percent) business users and 39.7 million who regularly access for non-work purposes.

“The business user enigma has plagued B2B marketers, e-commerce firms, analysts, and consultants since the Web began,” said Geoffrey Ramsey, Statsmaster at eMarketer. “Although business users comprise more than half of the total Net users, at least 20 percent of those accessing the Web from the workplace use it for personal activities like stock market news, sports scores, researching vacations, or ordering items online. Similarly, a growing portion of home users access the Net for business purposes, either for their corporate employers or their own small business activities.”

eMarketer’s eUser & Usage Report aggregates research data from hundreds of sources, including the US Department of Commerce, the US Census Bureau, Forrester Research, Intelliquest, and Jupiter Communications.

Work and Personal Internet Use in the US
(millions)
Year Active US
Net Population
Business
Users
Percent Personal
Users
Percent
1999 58 31.4 54% 26.6 46%
2004 88 49.3 56% 39.7 44%
Source: eMarketer

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