Internet Usage in Europe: In Formulating an Effective E-Commerce Strategy Companies Need to Know the Extent of Internet Penetration across Europe

Article excerpt

Any European business developing an on-line strategy will need to recognise the uneven spread of the internet across Europe, and keep track of differences in the way the internet is used. Fortunately, a good deal of this information is available free and on-line.

CyberAtlas http://cyberatlas.internet.com is a US-based site, part of the internet.com portal site for the internet industry. It pulls together a wide range of data likely to be useful to web marketers, and arranges it according to market sector, geography and demography.

A particularly useful feature, which is updated regularly, is a summary of the world's on-line populations. A handy pull-down menu lets you get the latest data on any one of 56 countries in summary form--for example, you can quickly find out that while Finland is one of the most wired countries with 43 per cent of its population online, internet usage in Hungary is confined to five per cent of the population.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Other CyberAtlas articles give much more than bare statistics of the number of people on-line, but often the data concentrates on the three biggest markets: the UK, Germany and France. The UK has 6.4 million households connected, reaching 27 per cent of the population, compared to net penetration in Germany and France of 20.7 per cent and 12.1 per cent respectively. In its early days the internet was the preserve of males, but the gender gap has been closing fast in recent years: in the US 48.2 per cent of users are female, compared to 38.7 per cent in the UK, 35.8 per cent in Germany and 32.9 per cent in France. In the US more women than men visit e-commerce sites, whereas in Europe the reverse is true. …