Findings were released from the American City Business Journals' June survey via PRNewswire on how small and medium business owners are using the Internet to promote their businesses. By using a variety of Internet applications,
these business owners are travel planning, researching and buying business products and services, accessing business news, and keeping in touch with friends and colleagues.
Regarding Internet usage trends for these SMB owners, online interaction leads to greater success, broken down by segments of business owners. These segments are transactors, investors, interactors, commentators and viewers, the first three most likely to capitalize upon the strengths of the Internet.
Interactors spend 2.5 hours per week on the Internet for reading news, researching and purchasing, connecting with colleagues and studying competition. They spend the most time online of the segments, but are the most effective of the group - they make up only fifteen percent of the survey population, but 24 percent of sales.
Investors spend less time on the Internet, with moderate engagement in above online activities, but less social networking. They make up 22 percent of SMB owners and 23 percent of sales. Investors have the highest net worth and largest investment portfolios.
Transactors make up one quarter of business owners and sell fifty percent of products or services on the Internet, the highest online sales segment. They account for 29 percent of general sales.
Commentators and Viewers account for the least percentage of sales. Seventeen percent are commentators and achieve fourteen percent of sales, while 21 percent are classified as Viewers and account for ten percent of sales.
Commentators work the longest hours and represent a higher percentage of women- and minority- owned businesses. They work mostly "on their own blogs or posting responses to others, work out of the office the most but use the Internet the least to buy or sell businesses and services."
Viewers consume more media than the other categories, own the smallest companies and spend the least time on the Internet, mostly on blogs, YouTube and HDTV.