Online usage: from alternative medium to mainstream choice

Harry LaRacuente and Ellen A Romer, Simmons, describe the way in which online usage has become routine for nearly a quarter of US adults, and outline the implications for the rest of the world

Ellen A. Romer and Harry LaRacuente

International marketers generally see the United States as the most developed market worldwide for products and services. One area where this is especially true is the fervour with which online and Internet usage is being adopted by US consumers. The US experience may serve as a test market, highlighting the processes of online adoption, and their effects, for other countries.

This article looks at the characteristics and online behaviour of online users, and explains the reasons why they use the Internet. Most of the conclusions are based on the Simmons Consumer Online Usage Study II, conducted during late autumn 1997. The information is based on responses from almost 3,300 active online users.

The wired population