Much of the value generated by the Internet disproportionately benefits SMEs and consumers.
In this 2012 study, the Boston Consulting Group examines the scale and speed of internet-driven growth in the G-20 and finds that the internet economy has already amounted to 4.1 percent of GDP, or $2.3 trillion, in these countries alone. This figure is expected to grow dramatically, with BCG estimating the internet will generate $4.2 trillion of value in G-20 economies—nearly doubling its current contributions.
Much of that value is captured through revenue-generating activities online and across the internet value chain, from which SMEs disproportionately benefit. BCG surveyed workers at more than 15,000 companies across the world and found that "high-Web" SMEs, those that use the internet a lot across their business, experience 22 percent higher growth than that achieved by SMEs with lower web usage. These successes aren’t limited to only developed economies -- in both developed and developing markets, high-Web companies were twice as likely to have a national and international customer base, as opposed to their counterparts with lower internet usage who tended to sell only locally. High-Web SMEs also generate more jobs and growth over time.
"The internet economy of the G-20 will nearly double between 2010 and 2016."
Consumers also benefit disproportionately from the internet in often under-quantified ways—across the G-20 countries, this consumer surplus is on average $1,430 a person annually. As the number of internet users rises, particularly in growing markets -- developing G-20 countries already have 800 million internet users, more than all developed G-20 countries combined -- these benefits stand to expand to a wider number of consumers worldwide.