Unlike the advice Dustin Hoffman’s character received in “The Graduate,” the future doesn’t seem to be so much in plastics as the Internet.
By the end of 2002, over 600 million people will access the Internet worldwide, spending more than US$1 trillion dollars, a new study (“The Internet Mosaic: One World, Many Nations “) from
IDC reveals. This data, generated by version 8.1 of IDC’s Internet Commerce Market Model, indicates that the Internet is alive and thriving despite difficult economic times. However, “the concept of the Internet as a great unifying force, allowing businesses to reach the most remote corners of the globe via one medium, with one message, has developed more into a reflection of the diversity that exists throughout the world,” IDC reports.
Once Internet users had a similar profile, but now we’re all ages, all education levels, all occupations, and from all countries, Carol Glasheen, program VP of IDC’s Global Research Organization, said. Consequently, businesses utilizing the Internet must understand the variations and complexities of Internet use in each country “if they are to capture the vast opportunity afforded by the Internet Mosaic,” she added.
According to IDC’s research: Worldwide e-commerce spending grew 68 percent between 2000 and 2001, reaching more than $600 billion in 2001. The Internet has become part of U.S. culture, with approximately 80 percent of the population using the Internet at least once per month by 2006. The percentage of Canadians accessing the Internet will grow to 80 percent by 2006. In South Africa, there are approximately 2.3 to 2.6 million active Internet users, two thirds of which are in the upper living standards bracket. Amid the changing IT environment, Japanese consumers are embracing the Internet in droves. The number of Internet buyers is also naturally growing, despite Japanese consumers being the most sensitive to security issues when it comes to making purchases on-line.