Multiple factors can inhibit consumers, businesses, and others from fully participating in the Internet economy, which both deprives participants of digital benefits and constrains economic growth. Regions with low “e-friction”—fewer or less-forceful factors that inhibit Internet access and use—have larger digital economies than those with more or stronger constraints on digital activity.
Analyzing the major causes of e-friction and how different countries have addressed similar challenges reveals ways to “grease the wheels” of the Internet economy.
The BCG e-Friction Index ranks 65 economies according to four types of e-friction: infrastructure-related frictions that limit basic access; industry and individual frictions, which affect the ability of companies and consumers to engage in online transactions; and information frictions that involve availability of, and access to, online content. High e-friction economies are in danger of missing out on a high-impact propellant of growth and job creation. Those that address their sources of e-friction have the potential to add significant value to their economies.
The BCG e-Friction Index can help each economy gain an understanding of how the sources of e-friction affect its digital growth and how it compares with neighbors and competitors. This interactive enables users to see exactly where each economy stands, not only in terms of overall e-friction but with respect to each of the component parts of the index and the factors that comprise each component. Economies can thus determine where their efforts to eliminate sources of friction are best aimed.