Human Factors in B2B Research Over the Internet
The Internet promises to be a commonplace feature of conducting business in the near future. In a recent telephone study conducted by DVL Smith Ltd amongst a representative sample of UK small and medium sized businesses, over 2/3 of all businesses had internet access. The US based Boston Consulting Group predicts that by 2003 one quarter of the world’s business-to-business purchases will be made on-line (an annual growth rate of 33% over the 5 years from 1998-2003).
This paper will explore the problems and challenges surrounding the conduct of research via the internet amongst business audiences. The paper will highlight the great potential that exists for business-to-business research over the net. It will also identify some of the main obstacles to researching in this way, examine the factors which cause them, and share the authors’ experience of using a number of methods they have successfully employed to overcome them.